Over time, you may come to learn that I have a strong predilection for bookstores. One of my favourite things to do when visiting any new city is to peruse through its bookstores, almost always smaller franchises that are historical or unique. More often than not, I usually don’t purchase anything but rather I just like to observe the range of books sold and what kind of shoppers it draws in. In an excessively digital world, it can be cathartic to flip through century-old books and appreciate the leisurely yet thoughtful process of picking out a book to read.
The Monkey’s Paw is really a distinctive bookstore and a testament to the “old and unusual” spots in the Dundas and Ossington area of Toronto. One immediately notices the leather-bound books in limited editions, the eclectic atmosphere and the distinctive smell of old paper. While the rare and hard-to-find books which cater to a niche market are its speciality, the Monkey’s Paw also houses the Biblio-Mat.
The Biblo-Mat is essentially a vending machine for old books -the first of its kind and a great way to encourage sales of older books. For a mere $2, a random book of any topic or genre will be dispensed. You may not get something you would typically purchase but the process of picking out something to read is somehow turned into a fun novelty. My literary luck brought me the “The Uttermost Star and Other Gleams of Fancy” by F.W. Boreham in its First Edition, printed in 1919. I am not sure how much I will like it but it may surprise me much like this store.
If you like to read or have an affinity for niche bookstores then this is the place for you!