Westside Stories

Westside Stories 852 King Street West

By Trish Gallant
Photos by Lisa Vuyk

Hello again, friends!

The next stop on the good ol’ I Heart Hamilton Book Crawl was to Westside Stories in Westdale.

Previously called The Bookworm, Westside Stories is located just across the street from Food Basics and is an absolute treasure trove for used books. The great thing I’ve found so far is that every single bookshop we’ve been in carries a great selection of local authors, as well!

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk

Owner Lynn Barlow managed The Bookworm for 13 years before taking ownership in January of 2015. She reorganized the upper level (yes that means there’s a lower level!!) so that there was more airy, breathing space, allowing for easier access to the different genres she stocks.

Upstairs homes: Fiction – including Literary and Pop, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Classics, and Children’s literature. While downstairs you will find wall-to-wall shelves of books including Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Teen, and a host of other treasures.

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk

I can’t even with Westside Stories. Every time I go in there I come home with far too many things! Lynn will trade in your books, provided she has a need for it, and give you store credit to put towards bringing home new friends (I mean books), and with so many types of books in stock, it’s easy to go home with a whole bag-full. Students also get a 10% discount so don’t forget to bring in your student card, folks!

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk

They are in the process of fixing up a room in the basement that you will be able to rent out for book clubs and group meetings, so definitely keep them in mind if you’re looking for a place to hold your next book night. It might be in the room full of ‘overstock’ so I dare you not to bring something upstairs to purchase once you’re in there. I couldn’t do it!

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk

Lynn left us to look around the room while she ran upstairs quickly and while I had my back to the door, completely in my element perusing the shelves, I started telling Lisa how much I loved Westside Stories. I do believe it went a little something like, “This store is just layers and layers and just when you think you’ve pulled back the final layer and unearthed everything it potentially has to offer, they come out and tell you there’s a SECRET DOOR TO MORE BOOKS.” I turned around to find not only Lisa but also Lynn who had heard everything.

I’m not really sure there’s much else to say after that review! Ha.

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk

Naturally I left with a naughty purchase. I bought Foxmask by Juliet Marillier, The Irish Fairy Book by Alfred Perceval Graves, and the most beautiful vintage copy of Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales. I collect fairytales, myths, and legends so you may find them being a recurring theme amongst my purchases!

Lynn was a superstar with her top 3 books, answering faster than anyone else. They are:

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (the only Hardy I haven’t read yet!)

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Westside Stories
Photo by Lisa Vuyk
kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011. She uses her blog and social media presence to promote Hamilton with an emphasis on the local arts & culture scene. Kristin is a major supporter of local music through promoting and booking shows, and hosts “I Heart Hamilton” radio show Fridays 2-3pm on 93.3 CFMU.

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