Don Stewart on MacLeod's, his iconic Vancouver bookshop


Manage episode 308810175 series 2416011
By Nigel Beale. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Don Stewart is the proprietor of MacLeod’s Books at 455 West Pender Street in downtown Vancouver, a shop famed for its magnificent piles of books, wide selection and narrow aisles. Stewart bought MacLeod's Books in 1973 from Van Andruss who'd bought it from Don MacLeod a few years after it opened in 1964. He moved the business into larger premises in 1981 only to see the place burn down the next year - so he had to start again from scratch. Ironically, for the past ten years he's had to contend with Vancouver Fire Department regulations in order just to keep his doors open. Instructed to reduce the number of books in his shop, ​his only options have been to stuff ​things in storage and sell​ as much as he can. Recent zealousness exhibited by the VFD may well be connected in part to the rapaciousness of area developers. Contrary to current rumours the shop will not be closing. I met with Don in the stacks of his shop to talk about his career in bookselling, about homelessness, British Columbia as rich terrain for all manner of book culture, legendary West Coast booksellers Stephen McIntyre and Bill Hoffer, socialism, and anarchy, among other things.

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