Bookworm’s Paradise: Explore Halifax’s Literary Haven with These 4 Must-Visit Bookstores

Lipsha Borah
Lipsha Borah Places to Visit
12 Min Read
#image_title

Halifax is a small city situated in the corner of the North Atlantic. The town has an occupancy of 370,000. The city is a heaven for book readers, with unique bookstores to buy books from.

But this vibrant port area has a thriving arts scene. It is home to several universities, including Dalhousie University, known for its excellent academic standards and maritime studies department. It’s no surprise that Halifax has an impressive number of bookstores.

Here is the list of the best bookstores in Halifax. 

1. Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Trident Booksellers & Cafe is a small, independent store in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts.

Bernie and Gail Flynn opened it, and the next generation of their family members now runs it. The bookstore also has a small cafe within it.

Trident Booksellers & Cafe Hunts Sustainability

It sells books, coffee, tea, art, and various other merchandise on its online website. During the evening, they offer their customers beer and wine. Events are scheduled inside the bookstore.

1.1 History

In 1979, Hudson Shotwell and James Gimian were members of Boulder’s Vajradhatu Buddhist Community. They started constructing the bookshelves, now famously known as the Trident Booksellers.

In June of 1980, Trident officially opened for business. The store was adjacent to a yarn and fabric store. Two women ran the fabric store.

Trident Booksellers & Café 🔱 Halifax, Nova Scotia 🇨🇦 Bookshop Bucket List 📚

The following year, the store closed down for various reasons. So James and Hudson rented that place. The owners have expanded the bookstore by separating the two spaces with the help of a pine wood wall.

After some time, they added new items to their menu, like espresso and drip coffee. So, after that, Trident Booksellers became famously known as Trident Booksellers and Cafe.

The cafe focuses on serving fine-quality coffee, tea, and pastries, an abundance of rare books, journals, and cards, and a carefully curated selection of beer and wine.

In these several years, Trident Booksellers has maintained its commitment to providing good-quality food and customer service. As a result, the cafe is considered the oldest cafe in Boulder. It is also world-famous for its exceptional coffee in the cafe.

They even import tea to various other places. This place is also famous for providing its customers with multiple types of literature and art. Their collection comprises new and used books and a serving of wine and beer on their back patio.

1.2 Coffee Production 

For the last 40 years, Trident has been working with various coffee roasters for business.

Recently, they have started to produce their coffee. They have tied hands with the best roasters and green coffee buyers. The business is called Idle Hands Roasting Company.

The line of coffee includes a great selection and process for choosing the best coffee beans and making a variety of blends to ensure they fulfill every customer’s choice of coffee.

The combinations include a light roast First Light, a medium roast Confluence Blend, and a roast Dawn Patrol.

1.3 Bookstore

The bookstore has been open since 1980, along with the coffee shop. The bookstore has all the updated facilities.

So that their customers can stay and read books in a peaceful environment, they have every genre of book, from fiction, psychology, health, literature, and Buddhism to Indian religions.

They buy rare books in excellent condition. It is also said that the bookstore is the home of Trident Press.

Episode 2: Trident Booksellers & Cafe

1.4 Trident Press

Peter Jones and Nathaniel K. Perkins founded Trident Press in 2017.

They sell almost the same kind of books as the Trident Bookstore, things like punk rock, travelogues, occult spiritual texts, weirdo fiction, etc.

2. Woozles Bookstore 

Woozles first opened its store at 1533 Birmingham Street.

The bookstore’s opening date is October 14, 1978. The response the bookstore got was very overwhelming for them. They had around 600 customers.

Bookstores in Halifax
Screenshot from Quill and Quire website

They have recently relocated their spot to 6013 Shirley Street, on the right-hand side of the big old tree.

2.1 History

Ann Connor Brimer and Liz and Brian Crocker founded the bookstore.

They have hired Trudy Carey as the manager. They say she had been loyal to them before the bookstore fully functioning.

It has been around 30 years for them to be working together. Ann, Liz, Brian, and Trudy were experienced in young children’s books, teaching, and working fields. They all had a different vision of the Woozles in the initial stage.

Their tagline was “A place for and about children.” By keeping this vision in mind, the bookstore offered a lot of workshops.

These workshops shared information about younger children’s books and even supported activities that helped them enrich their reading and family lives.

The Woozles Bookstore first published its first newsletter in the first month. They had their first workshop within six weeks of opening.

2.2 Programs Conducted

One of their programs, “Battle of the Books,” is in its 38th year. The program was on hold during COVID-19 times. But now it is back.

It is a program where elementary and junior high school students participate.

Woozles

In the last 14 years, Woozles has added two trendy books. The Woozles Writes! In 2010, the Writing Competition was launched. It encourages children to write and submit their own stories.

The panel of locals and renowned authors judge these stories. They started hosting a free storytime for the children in the magnificent Halifax Public Gardens. It is organized in summer on Tuesdays from May to September.

In the past few years, the bookstore has greatly changed regarding technology.

They have changed from a cash counter in the last eight years to fully computerized and fulfill customer’s orders worldwide. They are the oldest children’s bookstore in Canada.

3. Dartmouth Book Exchange 

It is a bookstore shop at 1187 Cole Harbour Road, just east of Forest Hills Parkway.

It sells good-quality books in print and has a collection of new books that local authors write.

The bookstore has been owned and operated by Amy McLssac since 2000. They have built the bookstore on a 2000-square-foot retail shop. Their primary focus is to sell popular fiction.

3.1. Books Availability 

Most of the books in their stores are in excellent condition. They have a large selection of paranormal and erotic romance, young adult fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, and many more.

Separately, they have a section that is solely dedicated to children.

They have over ten shelves with 2,000 books, including a section on French ones. All of their books are organized by genre and arranged alphabetically.

Their primary focus is to provide customers with the best prices and services for reading books.

3.2 Reviews

The most common comments the bookstore has received from the customers are that “it is much bigger than they have expected it to be,” “they can spend the whole day here,” and “they should check it out; they have blind dates filled with books! Fun!”, and many more.

Recently, they have opened their blog, where audiences can subscribe to it and read books online.

4. Bookmark Bookstores

It is a locally owned bookstore. The bookstore was first established in 1972 in Charlottetown and in 1989 in Halifax.

4.1 History

In 1972 month of December, Bookmark, for the first time, opened its stores for its customers at 146 Richmond Street. The figure behind starting this bookstore was Rodney Jones.

He was the one who said that an independent bookstore is the need of the hour for Charlottetown.

In 1972, a well-known writer, Margaret Atwood, published her first novel “Surfacing.” Another famous author, Robertson Davies, won the Governor General’s Award for the book he posted, “Manticore.”

Bookstores in halifax
screenshot from cbc.ca

Rodney’s brother, Larry Jones, had helped him set up the bookstore. A lot of the family members had taken part in building the bookstore.

In the past 50 years, the bookstore has moved from Richmond Street to the Confederation Court Mall. They also had a store in the Waterfront Mall. 1989, Rodney opened the second bookstore branch on Spring Garden Road in Halifax.

Rodney passed away in 2013. In the following year, the bookstore was owned by two new owners, Dan and Marlene Macdonald. From that time on, a new chapter and used books were started.

Bookmark is very close to its customers. People who have been visiting the store since their childhood now have become part of the family. Bookmark is very welcoming to its customers, and it has a long way to go as well.

4.2 Venue 

The exact location of the bookstore is 5686 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax, NS \ B3 J1H5 Canada. On their website, they have also added their email id -halifax@bookmarkreads.ca.  

5. Bottom Line

The bookstores in Halifax are unique and historic. Most of these bookstores also have cafes attached to them. You can enjoy a peaceful session of reading while sipping a coffee. 

With the advent of smartphones and Kindles,  the craze for books and several bookstore visitors has drastically declined. 

Except for a few book lovers,  the world has migrated to Kindle and phones to read books. This has also affected the bookstores business, and many of the bookstores in Halifax were shut down.

Are you a book lover?  Have you visited any of these fantastic bookstores in Halifax? Tell us in the comment section. 

Last Updated on by Sanjana

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *