8 used bookstores to visit in Manitoba
May 09, 2023
| Author Brett Maclaren
If you’re a collector of old books (or if you know one), there’s a real thrill to combing through the shelves of a used bookstore or book sale; searching through old romance novels and movie tie-ins to find that one book you’ve always wanted to read, but just haven’t had the time to.
Even if you’re not a collector, you might need a new page-turner for your summer vacation, or maybe you just want to populate that empty shelf at home! Whatever your fancy, here are some places you can find used books in Manitoba!
Something you didn’t know you were looking for awaits you at Bison Books. Owned and operated by passionate Winnipegger Aimee Peake, this shop is located in the beating heart of downtown Winnipeg. The walls are covered with over 20,000 books which she has meticulously curated. Bison Books is especially great if you‘re looking for first editions or antique books!
Poor Michael's Emporium
Only a five minute drive away from Riding Mountain National Park, Poor Michael’s is a nifty spot to find some amazing culture in western Manitoba. It’s a staple of the town of Onanole, renovated from the town’s first general store into a homey-feeling bookstore and café. But don’t stop there: they also sell a smattering of Manitoba-made art, from pottery to paintings, and a selection of quality used vinyl. They also host a delightful summer concert series!
Burton Lysecki Bookstore
Burton Lysecki Bookstore is another great place in Winnipeg to look for rare first editions and hard-to-find books…but whatever you‘re looking for, you should be able to get it here—as the store owners say they have over 100,000 books! You can find them in-person at 527 Osborne Street, only a short strut from Osborne Village. Currently, they‘re only open Saturdays.
George Strange's Book Mart
George Strange himself operates the expansive George Strange‘s Prairie Showcase & Book Mart, located on 10th St. in Brandon, Manitoba. The books have been well-organized into 10 rooms over three floors, which gives any good book-hunter plenty of room to browse (there‘s also a wealth of children‘s books for your little one). While you‘re there, check out the Prairie Showcase, which carries art prints, pottery, and gifts made by Manitoba artists.
Book Fair is an always-reliable place to find a quality pre-owned book, especially if you’re looking for an accessible classic novel (such as The Great Gatsby), an entry into a popular series (such as Stephen King’s Dark Tower series) or want to browse new and old comic books. The store has been located on Portage Avenue since 1978, and can be accessed on the street or through the downtown skywalk.
Whodunit New and Used Mystery Bookstore
If you like being perpetually on the edge of your seat, Whodunit New and Used Mystery Bookstore is your next one-stop shop. There’s no other mystery bookstores in western Canada, so if you need the newest Lucy Foley mystery, or want to dive into Agatha Christie’s vast catalog, get it here (I should add that they carry non-mysteries too!). You can also join their Mystery Reader’s Group, which meets the last Thursday of each month.
Thompson Book Nook
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Thompson Book Nook! When you need a break from all those sad novels and want to bounce into a superhero adventure, check out this charming gem. Though it mainly functions as a comic book store, they have regular ol’ books, manga, and a healthy selection of games. Escapism awaits!
Thyme Bookstore & Cafe
Let‘s face it—looking for all these books has made you tired. You might get grouchy if you don‘t have a snacky. BUT, what if you could continue the book hunt while you satisfy your tummy? Thyme Café and Bookstore, located in St. Boniface, has your number. Top-notch coffee, tea, and croissants. Plant-based grub that brings the flavour. All that, combined with the oh-so-sweet smell of some LOADED bookshelves? Book hunting has never tasted so good.
If you’re looking for a bestseller from a couple years ago, and can‘t find it at a local store, you may just find it at one of the many thrift stores across Manitoba. I love thrifting with my friends, and I will often wander into the book section, to my friends‘ dismay…because time and time again, I will walk out with a bag of books SO full it‘s practically bursting. Thrift stores are great because there’s something for everyone, and all the books are cheap. For extra fun—take a chance on something you’re not sure about. You might just find your new favourite book.
Visit a charity bookstore
At a charity book sale, you’re doing two great things at once—donating to a good cause while finding a great new book to snuggle into. They happen often, and are easy to find by following your favourite charities and non-profit organizations on social media. On an annual basis, stay on the lookout for The Children’s Hospital Book Market every April at St. Vital Centre!
About The Author
Hey, what’s shakin’? Brett here. I love old movies, biking, and massive servings of plain-jane food. I’ll fiercely defend anything Manitoba…except chilli on cheeseburgers. What’s that all about?
Red River College Creative Communications Graduate Intern