Shop ‘Til You Drop: Montreal

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. When I look back on 2018, traveling will best depict this year, and I have absolutely no complaints about that. Since January, I’ve had first-time visits to ItalyPortland, Maine; Sea Bright, N.J.; Boston; Baltimore; and, most recently, Montreal. Gah … #blessed.

Now in Boston, I was much too busy reveling in our win for independence (see: Beth living out a fantasy) to think about bookstores.

I know I know.

Blasphemy.

But I picked up my own slack in Montreal by visiting three lovely bookstores that had their own flair and charm and, of course, books on books on books.

Readers, it’s time to shop ’til you drop: Montreal style.

Old Port

Many oooh and aaahs to be had at Montreal’s Old Port.

If you’re looking for …

… quintessential Montreal, Librairie Bertrand has you covered.

Get the pun there? “Covered.”

Anyways.

The best part about Montreal is that it oozes an old-world European magic. While the majority of residents are bilingual in English and French, the city is painted in the latter, and the architecture and artistry echo it as well. It’s exquisite. And Librairie Bertrand matches that style.

Located near Notre-Dame (aka a MUST), this charming bookstore has the best that Montreal has to offer, with a lil bit of French and a lil bit of English. The space is divided about 50/50 between the two languages, so it’s interesting to see the same titles in both; however, as far as I can tell, Librarie Bertrand doesn’t stock books on a 1:1 ratio, and I appreciate that variety. It has a small children’s space — though I could probably make myself right at home as an adult — and a great selection of reads. I easily could have left with about 47 titles. Also, somehow French Harry Potter looks more fun than the English version.

430 Rue Saint-Pierre

 

 

French HP 2

Merci.

… EVERYTHING, get lost in Indigo.

You know this type of bookstore. It has every book you could ever want, records to peruse, home decor to really step up your book-nook game, the most beautiful journals to record your literary thoughts, board games for when you need a reading break (is that possible?), a spiral staircase to give you library envy, etc. etc. It has you wondering, is this really a bookstore?

Indigo does it right though. Despite having everything under the sun, Indigo doesn’t overwhelm you, lose you, or have you asking the question above. It’s stylish and very organized (for which, I send my regards). Had I not left my boyfriend on the street to finish ice cream, I would have stayed for hours upon hours. It also had a Reese Witherspoon table and someone playing a baby grand piano in the middle.

Come. On.

1500 McGill College Ave.

 

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… eclectic vibes, make a quick stop at Argo.

According to its website, Argo Bookshop is “the oldest English-language independent bookstore in Montreal.” Therefore, go.

Small and quaint, it’s not the place to go if you’re looking for the “best of…” books, but that should never be what you desire in a bookstore. Walmart can provide that. Argo stocks many unique titles with stories that stray from convention, to which Big Little Literature toasts. There’s also a small reading room in the back for all those who can’t resist walking away from an unusual find. The trunk outside with C$1 books is uber cute too. Argo lies just down the road from Indigo. So if the latter’s immense collection overwhelms you, Argo will set you straight.

1915 Rue Saint-Catherine Ouest

 

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Montreal is a city that leaves you wanting more. More architecture. More French. More cathedrals. More dessert. More croissants. More poutine. More bagels … You catch my drift. But also more books. Because the city is quite large and spread out, I didn’t get to visit near enough bookstores. But alas, that’s what future traveling is for.

I’ll see you soon, Montreal.

City Hall

Montreal City Hall near the Old Port

 

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