Independent Bookstores

Independent bookstores feature carefully selected titles, offer physical books, and support independent press and new authors. In Canada, bookstores such as Type Books, Blue Heron Books, and Book City feature carefully crafted displays, blind-date books, weekly title rotations, and classic catalogues.

Type Books

Found on Queen Street West in Toronto, Type Books is an independent bookstore that is known for its skillfully crafted displays and carefully chosen book collections. The bookstore also hosts different events such as book launches, demo classes, anniversary parties, and other events. Displays feature eclectic selections of books such as Oliver Sacks’s Attitude, Asne Seierstad’s One of Us, and Adrianna Adarme’s The Year of Cozy. The bookstore also publishes a monthly newsletter featuring books that explore topics such as indigenous identity and justice, the drama of childhood, resilience, and longing and hounding. Featured books include titles such as Erin Moure’s The Elements, Leanne Shapton’s Guestbook: Ghost Stories, and Alicia Elliott’s A Mind Spread Out on the Ground.

Blue Heron Books

This independent bookstore is found on Brock Street West, Uxbridge and features a host of events such as literary events, paper illustration shops, and other events. Literary events feature books such as The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan, Children of the Moon by Anthony De Sa, and Rush to Danger by Ted Barris. The bookstore also offers classes and runs the Blue Herron Book Club which encourages participation and discussion. Featured books include Starlight by Richard Wagamese, Foe by Iain Reid, Mischling by Affinity Konar, and others. Blue Heron Books displays books in different categories such as parent resources, indigenous books and authors, mathematics, engineering, technology, and science, and releases for high schools. Heron Blue Books also partners with writer Kerry Clare to feature titles that are published by independent press. Selected Titles include Melissa Barbeau’s The Luminous Sea, Missy Marston’s Bad Ideas, and Zalika Reid-Benta’s Frying Plantain. Books are published by independent presses such as Goose Lane Editions, House of Anansi, ECW Press, and Breakwater Books.

Book City

Book City is also an independent bookstore that opened in 1976 and has several locations in Ontario. This is a family-run bookstore that features a collection of books exploring themes such as war and plague, human nature, power, and others. Featured books include titles such as the Longest Afternoon by Brendan Simms, Napoleon’s Women by Christopher Hibbert, and 1666: Plague, War & Hellfire by Rebecca Rideal.

Independent Bookstores in Canada: Statistics

The market share of independent booksellers has decreased over the last years while the share of chain bookstores has increased. Independent booksellers are about 2,000 in number and include mini-chains and single outlets. Examples of mini-chains are Librairie Raffin, found in Quebec, and Book City in Toronto. The category of independent booksellers includes used bookstores, departments in grocery stores, as well as campus stores.

Independent sellers in Canada face multiple challenges such as competition and deep discounts offered by chains and growing operating costs due to increases in commercial rents. Independent bookstores also face additional challenges related to growing e-commerce and supermarket sales, low profit margins, and costs such as transportation and salaries. At the same time, independent bookstores offer a number of benefits such as carefully chosen book collections, convenient locations, and good deals and prices. Booksellers also organize different events and provide social and cultural services. Shopping at independent stores also helps local economies as it returns money to local communities, with tax money being reinvested in different projects. There are also environmental benefits given that shopping online involves packaging and shipping which generate waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, shopping at independent bookstores is a more personal experience that involves interaction and allows visitors to inquire about the authors and books they are searching for. And the main advantage of small booksellers over large chains is that they offer unique experience, be it delightful arrangements or personal recommendations.

Top 5 books for Canadian Entrepreneurs

Bestselling small business books offer advice on how to develop time-management, strategic planning, and negotiation skills, financial management skills, and general management skills.

Bookkeepers’ Boot Camp: Get a Grip on Accounting Basics

Written by Angie Mohr, this book helps Canadian entrepreneurs to master the basics of record keeping. Readers learn about different types of transactions, financial instruments, and payments, including personal bill payments, dividends, bonuses, and loans. The book also helps readers to understand cash flow and income statements and balance sheets to meet financing requirements and grow their business successfully.

Zero Limits

Another handy book for young entrepreneurs, Zero Limits helps readers to overcome obstacles to attaining happiness and peace of mind and accumulating wealth. Once homeless, Joe Vitale is a marketing guru and the author of a number of bestselling books, teaching entrepreneurs how to overcome mental obstacles to reach success.

Canadian Small Business Kit for Dummies

This great book by Margaret Kerr and Joann Kurtz offers advice on starting a small business and making the most of government funding and different tools for self-promotion. The authors explore topics such as risk management, ownership, choice of product, and working with advisors, suppliers, and customers. Readers also learn how to anticipate future problems, find helpful business resources, write a good business plan, and grow their business. Entrepreneurs learn to weigh different factors that can have an impact on their business, including the market and state of the economy and their resources and personal life. They are offered useful information to get started, including information about business incubators, entrepreneurship and small business centres, and trust companies and banks. The book also elaborates on topics such as sole proprietorship, the pros and cons of incorporation, leasing and buying equipment, and start-up basics such as licenses and investigating permits.

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The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why Now Is the Time to #JoinTheRide

Authored by Darren Hardy, the Entrepreneurship Roller Coaster examines the main reasons for failure. The author highlights the fact that failure is not due to external factors such as competition, inventory management, credit, location, and access to capital. The reasons for failure are, in fact, emotional and boil down to fear of failure and rejection, self-defeating behaviors, and self-doubt and fears.

The Art of the Start

The Art of the Start is a book by Guy Kawasaki that helps entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality. The author points to the fact that there are plenty of books and articles on how to raise capital, recruit staff, and write a good business plan. The most important thing, however, is to stay focused on priorities that help grow a successful business. The Art of the Start also explores topics such as the art of branding, partnering, pitching, and positioning and the art of starting. Readers learn how to develop a brand identity, establish business partnerships, identify and increase their customer base, and turn a business idea into success.