J.H. Gordon Books 314 King Street East
Hi, Friends. Me again…
Our next stop on the I Heart Hamilton Book Crawl was J.H. Gordon on King St E. You’ll notice it beside Café Oranje with its bright blue storefront. Writing about Julie Gordon’s shop is hard for me, because while I love and adore pretty much every bookstore in the city, J.H. Gordon might be my favourite. There, I said it. Trying to find the words to articulately explain why is challenging because basically what you need to know is this:
I LOVE J.H GORDON BOOKS. IT’S SO PREEEEEEEETTY. TAKE ALL OF MY MONIES AND GIVES ME THE BOOKS. GIVES THEM TO ME. OOOH A WITTLE KITTY. WHO’S A PRETTY KITTY?!
What can I say? I am a fan-girl. Julie is easy to talk to, knowledgeable about books, owns one of the most beautiful stores, and (!!) has an adorably fluffy cat called Winnie. Some days Winnie will be out and about in the store and you can spend your shopping trip playing with her and looking at books. I mean… is there any other way to shop?
The store itself is bright and welcoming with high ceilings, antique frames, bright art, and shelves and shelves of well-organized books. If you’re into the Folio Society thing, look no further. While you won’t find any Harlequin’s or pop fiction on the shelves, you will find an abundant amount of literary fiction, classics, sci-fi/fantasy, historical & mystery, and non-fiction. There is a charming little children’s book nook full of the classics you’d expect: Anne of Green Gables, White Fang, The Jungle Book, etc. and a growing collection of YA fiction. Julie also has a good mix of new books from smaller publishing houses with a big focus on local authors.
You can bring in your gently used books for in-store credit, and with books at fair prices it’s easy to go home with new stories to love whether you trade in or not. Mass markets will run you between $3-$5 and the average trade is between $7-9.
I don’t know how important book covers are to anyone other than me but if you’re looking for specific or classic covers you may have luck here. Those iconic Penguin Classics? Julie’s got you covered… zing! I also find more UK covers here than anywhere else, so far. We’ll see what happens as we continue our crawl.
Before we left, I made sure to ask Julie what her top 3 favourite books are as well. Gotta be fair to everyone. Julie’s picks are:
· Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
· Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
· Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
We did a little shopping this time. Kristin picked up Islands in the Stream by Hemingway and I picked up Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (I had to! She recommended it!), Villette by Charlotte Bronte, and a new collection of Folk Tales by Wilhelm Matthiessen
Until next time, y’all, Happy Reading!