The 5 Best Bookstores in Vancouver
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

The 5 Best Bookstores in Vancouver

Who doesn’t love the smell of books whenever you enter the bookstore? Bookstores have the kind of magic that will entrance you from the moment you step in, to the point that you won’t even notice that you already spent hours roaming around and browsing through titles.

Don’t even get us started with that majestic feeling you get when you finally find a book you’ve been looking for so long, after going through different bookstores!

These are just some of the reasons why we scouted for the best bookstores in Vancouver and listed them for you to check out. Who knows, you might find hidden gems in them.

The Best Bookstores in Vancouver

We scoured through different bookstores and coming up with this list was harder than we thought. To make sure we can give you the best of the best, we considered the following criteria:

Curation of titles to know how diverse their selection is and especially the collection of genres they have
Store layout, including accessibility, the style, decor, space of the store, as well as the ease of navigation in finding book titles
Services and payment options, if they offer for convenient alternatives for their customers
Payment methods available aside from cash, in case you don’t carry any around
Shopping options, whether they have online services in case you’re in a hurry or you can’t drop by the store
Customer satisfaction based on the ratings, reviews, and testimonials of their customers
Staff familiarity and knowledge about titles and genres, as well as assistance in
finding them in the store
Staff friendliness when communicating with customers, whether in-store or not

1. Massy Books

Massy Books
TestInfo
SERVICESIn-store Shopping

In-store Pickup

Curbside Pickup

Delivery

WEBSITEhttps://www.massybooks.com/
ADDRESS229 E. Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-721-4405

Email: [email protected] or

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday – Sunday: 10AM – 6PM

Holidays* – 10AM – 6PM

*Open on all Stat holidays except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

CriteriaRatings
Curation of titles★★★★★ (5/5)
Store layout★★★★★ (5/5)
Services and payment options★★★★☆ (4/5)
⮕Payment methods available★★★★☆ (4/5)
⮕Shopping options★★★★★ (5/5)
Customer satisfaction★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff familiarity and knowledge★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff friendliness★★★★★ (5/5)

If you’re the type who likes finding hidden gems in special places, Massy Books is a place to be. Since it’s located in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood, its funky and vibrant vibe makes it stand out of all the other bookstores.

Massy Books is a fully woman and Indigenous-owned bookstore that caters to a huge variety of genres from rare titles to contemporary bestsellers. You’re likely to find something new here, may it be out-of-print or not.

What we like most about it is its noticeable support for culture and heritage. It has an incredible selection of titles from local Indigenous authors, as well as its intersectional literature that includes local indigenous history and folklore, and much more.

Plus, they also buy books and offer trading credit. They buy everything but most especially Indegenous (BC and Pacific Northwest), literature, gender and sexuality, among others.

If you’re also looking into hosting events, Massy Books is spacious enough to host art exhibitions, poetry readings, book launches, and art openings. It’s also a great venue for bookworks to hold a wedding party!

We also love how committed Massy Books is to the community and environment. It promotes the use of paper bags and recycled paper, among others. It also supports local charities, community initiatives, and community-based social justice organizations.

When you visit this bookstore, try looking for its hidden rare book room or ask the staff for the new childrens’ section and be ready for a surprise!

It generally accepts various modes of payment, including credit cards, debit cards, and NFC mobile payments, but not Apple Pay.

Pros

  • Sells new and used books
  • Buys books
  • Wheelchair accessible entrance
  • Convenient online store
  • Friendly and helpful staff

Cons

  • Difficulty in street parking
  • Doesn’t accept Apple Pay

Customer Reviews

Well-stocked bookstore

“After ordering from Massy online (which has been a great experience!) and falling in love with this small business over instagram, I finally got a chance to visit in person. I’m still vibrating from the experience and have told so many friends about it! The bookstore itself was so well-stocked with exactly the types of books I want to read, felt like a refuge from settler colonialism, and even has a hidden entrance to the children’s department! Dani and Hari were the staff that heard what I was looking for, took me under their wings and led me around the store, loading me up with alllll their favourite works by Filipinx writers. I felt so seen, accepted and sincerely cherished for being there. I can’t wait until my next visit!” —Meagan Santiago, Google Reviews

Perfectly curated

“You could spend hours in this wonderful store. It seems perfectly curated to inspire you to read more as every book seems enticing. I was able to find books for my aunt and my pre-teen daughter that they can’t seem to put down.” —Leo de la Parra, Google Reviews

Amazing customer service

“I placed an order with them online and they were quick to contact me to let me know they couldn’t find one of my books but that they had a different edition available and would ship that one instead. Imagine my delight and surprise when I received my package with the original edition I ordered plus a lovely note saying they had found it last minute and swapped it out. Such amazing customer service!” —Tiffani Smith, Google Reviews

2. Indigo – Robson

Indigo - Robson
TestInfo
SERVICESIn-store Shopping

In-store Pickup

Delivery

WEBSITEhttps://www.chapters.indigo.ca/
ADDRESS1033 Robson Street Vancouver, BC V6E 1A9
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 778-783-3978
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Thursday: 10AM – 7PM

Friday – Saturday: 10AM – 8PM

Sunday: 11AM – 7PM

CriteriaRatings
Curation of titles★★★★★ (5/5)
Store layout★★★★★ (5/5)
Services and payment options★★★★☆ (4/5)
Payment methods available★★★★☆ (4/5)
Shopping options★★★★★ (5/5)
Customer satisfaction★★★★☆ (4/5)
Staff familiarity and knowledge★★★★★ (5/5)
Staff friendliness★★★★☆ (4/5)

Large bookstores these days tend to sell more novelties than, well, books. However, we love Indigo in Robson because it’s nothing short of a diverse option of titles and genres. Its well-curated selection is also well-stocked even with books that you don’t usually find elsewhere.

Indigo is a one-stop cultural department store operated by Indigo Books & Music Inc., so you’ll find other trinkets, stationary items, and home decors here.

This may be bothersome for some who prefer the solace in the company of books alone. But it’s a place to go to if you’re also looking for gifts for bookworms aside from books.

It’s perhaps one of the most spacious Indigo stores, so navigating this branch will not be a problem, especially with its several sections. Although the store layout may appear to be not straightforward for some, it’s not difficult to navigate.

We also like that their friendly and approachable staff will even help you access the book you’re looking for if it’s unavailable, or they’ll order it for you.

We like that despite its large space, the shelves in this store are kept organized and the store itself is neat, despite the peak hour on weekend afternoons.

However, we just find it hard to order online because stock checking isn’t accurate and the store price doesn’t match the one on the website.

Pros

  • Great curated book selection
  • Lovely store layout
  • Large stationary section
  • Great place to buy gifts
  • Friendly and approachable staff
  • Wheelchair accessible

Cons

  • Loud music playing
  • Long lines
  • Limited indigenous handmade crafts
  • Inaccurate stock checking online

Customer Reviews

Great book buying experience

“Book haven, knowledge hub, education junction, readers paradise… these are some of the phrases that come to mind when you visit this place. Plus amazing staff and courteous service makes it an overwhelmingly positive book buying experience. Indulge if you’re in the neighborhood!” —Ashutosh Anil, Google Reviews

Friendly customer service

“I want to comment on the service here. This is the Indigo I typically go to buy books, even though I travel from New Westminster. There is something very nice about the customer service here. They are so friendly, and it really shows they enjoy working here. I am happy to support a store with a good culture.” —Yasmeen Vaquerano, Google Reviews

3. The Paper Hound

The Paper Hound
TestInfo
SERVICESIn-store Shopping

In-store Pickup

Delivery

WEBSITEhttps://paperhound.ca
ADDRESS344 West Pender St. Vancouver, BC V6B 1T1
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-428-1344

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSSunday – Saturday: 10AM – 6PM
CriteriaRatings
Curation of titles★★★★★ (5/5)
Store layout★★★★☆ (4/5)
Services and payment options★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Payment methods available★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Shopping options★★★★★ (5/5)
Customer satisfaction★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff familiarity and knowledge★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff friendliness★★★★★ (5/5)

The Paper Hound is a whimsical and highly-curated bookstore. It’s a good getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, especially on a rainy day, because of its quaint vibe.

The owners, who personally work in-store, have excellent taste. We love how they organized the genres they have and how we felt their personal touch in the curation of their selection. Old titles are mixed with new ones, and there’s a treasure hidden in every shelf.

Speaking of personal touch, we love that their gift certificates are handcrafted and they provide a special bookmark with a hound design modelled after their hound mascot.

Apart from going in-store to buy a book, you can also call or email them to place an order and delivery (by bicycle) is free if you’re located in Vancouver proper.

On top of stocking up on new literary publications and classic titles, we love that they also buy books, whether individual volumes or huge libraries. And, they can also special order new titles upon the request of their customers.

If you prefer to order online, they offer only a small number of books via AbeBooks. Their online collection is made up mostly of specialized materials or hard-to-find titles.

However, their online inventory might not match the physical store’s, so you might want to consider contacting them directly. Also, you might get a better price when you shop in-store than online as the prices they post in their online holdings tend to be different.

Pros

  • Offers new, used, and rare books
  • Buys books
  • Free delivery via bicycle within Vancouver proper
  • Wheelchair accessible

Cons

  • Small space
  • A bit difficult to navigate
  • Limited titles offered online 

Customer Reviews

Good place to spend time in

“A small book shop that you can spend time in. Love the novelties of zines, poems out of a cigarette machine, and a photo album filled with pictures found in books. Grateful to find a title here of a book I’ve been hunting for. Friendly, courteous, and super laid back.” —Samantha Kristoferson, Google Reviews

Nice and small store

“This is one of the nicest bookstores I’ve been to! It’s nice and small but filled with books of all types from floor to ceiling. Whether you’re looking for a new book or a really old collectors one, they’ll have something for you. It’s the type of shop you walk into and immediately feel the love they have for their product, it just radiates a love for books. The owner was also super friendly. Definitely make this place a stop if you’re in downtown Vancouver!!” —Avram Sanders, Google Reviews

4. Spartacus Books

Spartacus Books
TestInfo
SERVICESIn-store shopping

In-store pickup

Delivery

WEBSITEhttps://spartacusbooks.net/
ADDRESS101 - 1983 Commercial Drive Vancouver, BC V5N 4A8
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-688-6138

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday – Friday: 10AM – 8:30PM

Saturday – Sunday: 11AM – 7:00PM

CriteriaRatings
Curation of titles★★★★☆ (4/5)
Store layout★★★★☆ (4/5)
Services and payment options★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Payment methods available★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Shopping options★★★★★ (5/5)
Customer satisfaction★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff familiarity and knowledge★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff friendliness★★★★★ (5/5)

Spartacus Books is the bookstore to visit if you’re into something that’s a little more confrontational and you’re looking for different perspectives on modern issues.

We value that they have been a volunteer-run nonprofit bookstore and resource center that has been run collectively for almost 50 years. It focuses on providing titles that are difficult to obtain and specializes in political books and literature. 

Overall, we’re happy with their diverse and up-to-date selection of books on socio-political issues. In fact, they also carry academic and scholarly publications like journals and books, even publishers that aren’t available elsewhere in Vancouver.

We also found magazines, zines, shirts, posters, patches and buttons in their store. Their zines collection is a combination of local and non-local activists and writers.

Other things you can check out are their lending library, as well as membership and volunteer programs.

We love how Spartacus Books has a small lending library of local zines, political books, and other titles. There’s no late fees or due dates, and anyone can borrow. They just have to take the book to the collective member on shift.

They accept volunteers who can work on weekly shifts and organize events, which we think will give you immediate access to community events.

Plus, becoming a member with Spartacus Books has its own perks. Their donors become members already and they receive 10% off on all purchases for an entire year and they get access to their DVD rentals.

They recently moved to a new location and their new store has a wheelchair accessible entrance and parking lot, but the restroom is not yet wheelchair accessible. Other than that, the store layout is easily navigable.

Finally, we also like that their free delivery service in the Vancouver area is easy to avail. You just have to go to fill out a form and provide the book title to request a delivery. Or you can also just put a subject or genre you’re interested in and they will hand-pick a bundle of recommendations for you.

Pros

  • Great selection of books especially on politics
  • Huge collection of zines
  • Quick response from the staff

Cons

  • Not a large collection of fiction books
  • Small space

Customer Reviews

Impactful presence in the community

“Amazing and vast selection of books in the most variable topics. A bookstore that goes beyond the books and has an impactful presence in its community. Super recommended!” —Rodolfo Stival Melegari, Google Reviews

Exceptional breadth of books

“Really appreciated the breadth of books offered. The indigenous section was exceptional!” —Joaquin Muñoz, Google Reviews

5. Kestrel Books

Kestrel Books
TestInfo
SERVICESIn-store shopping
WEBSITEhttps://kestrelbooks.ca/
ADDRESS3642 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P1
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-872-2939

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSSunday – Saturday: 11AM - 7PM Closed Christmas and New Year's Day
CriteriaRatings
Curation of titles★★★★☆ (4/5)
Store layout★★★★☆ (4/5)
Services and payment options★★★★☆ (4/5)
⮕Payment methods available★★★★☆ (4/5)
⮕Shopping options★★★★☆ (4/5)
Customer satisfaction★★★★☆ (4/5)
⮕Staff familiarity and knowledge★★★★★ (5/5)
⮕Staff friendliness★★★★☆ (4/5)

Kestrel Books has held a carefully curated selection since 1985. It’s a great destination if you’re bored of shopping online or in generic bookstores. Who knows, you might leave with a book or five.

You’ll get lost in its aisles while browsing through its lovely selection, especially because of its cosy quiet and ambiance on casual afternoons.

It’s also worth a visit because of their excellent inventory of vintage, out-of-print, and antiquarian books. We like how it’s a reliable and knowledgeable dealer for rare books.

If you’re looking into expanding your personal library, Kestrel Books is a must-see. With over 10,000 titles available, they provide various fields to collect within any budget or age, from Archie Comics to Medieval Manuscripts.

They also have a selection of around 900 unique books searchable online through AbeBooks. But if you want to order directly with them, you can easily email them with the book description, book inventory number, and shipping address.

We like that Kestrel also buys books but it limits the genres they are open to purchasing, which is one thing we’re a bit unhappy about.

However they gain an additional point with us for using paper bags or reusable fabric and for encouraging their customers to bring reusable bags.

Pros

  • Promotes environmental sustainable
  • Buys books
  • Amazing collection of interesting and rare books

Cons

  • Small space
  • No delivery option

Customer Reviews

Impactful presence in the community

“Truly one of the best used bookstores. Amazing selection of books, great prices, and a very warm and peaceful energy within the shop. When I was on my search for Fredrick Brown and Ray Bradbury (both very old authors, can be hard to find original copies), this is where I was able to find the lot of them. Whether you’re looking for something in particular or just wanting to browse and find something that catches your eye, I highly recommend going to this bookstore.” —Lex Mitchell, Google Reviews

FAQs about bookstores in Vancouver


Bookstores are a haven for booknuts, whether you’re looking for something particularly or just browsing and waiting for something to catch your eye.

Good thing there’s a good deal of great bookstores in Vancouver where you can shop or order in. Visit them now and you might find the next book you won’t be able to put down.

When you go on a bookstore hopping, you might want to spice it up by also visiting the best art galleries in Vancouver and enjoy their exhibits.