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#Support613 Gift Guide: Indie book stores and publishers

By Apartment613 on November 23, 2020

Welcome to Part 1 of Apartment613’s local holiday gift guide! Visit often for new suggestions daily.

Books for your bestie or books for your mom: A good read makes a great gift. Books are the bomb.

For real, though, buying books covers all the bases of our #Support613 Gift Guide, which launches today and will feature on in the coming weeks. You may be able to support an author, a local publisher, and an independent bookstore with a single purchase.

However, there’s no shame if your shopping list includes some of this year’s Canada Reads or New York Times best sellers—as long as you pick them up from one of these local shops:

The Barely Bruised Book Club
315 Wilbrod St.

Show your support for an Indigenous-owned business in Ottawa! The BBBC is a Sandy Hill bookstore to treasure… Read more in this feature circa 2019. New titles are often posted to Facebook in photo albums. Free deliveries in Sandy Hill and Lowertown, and curbside pick-up at the shop.

Apt613 Pick: The BBBC has two large shelves of Indigenous books and also sells paintings by local artists.

Black Squirrel Books
1073 Bank St.

Early in the pandemic, Black Squirrel started sending out surprise boxes of books to folks in isolation. A Facebook post says the boxes will be back for the holiday season.

Apt613 Pick: Crow Winter, a novel by Algonquin Anishinaabe writer Karen McBride, was a finalist for the 2020 Ottawa Book Award in English fiction.

Surprise book box! Photo: Black Squirrel Books (Facebook)

Books on Beechwood
35 Beechwood Ave.

Like most shops of its size, only a few people are allowed inside at a time, so browse the staff picks and reviews online or give them a call to arrange curbside pickup. Local delivery via Purolator.

Apt613 Pick: Truth Be Told: The Story of My Life and My Fight for Equality by Beverley McLachlin won the 2020 Ottawa Book Award for English non-fiction.

Le coin du livre
1657 Cyrville Rd.

The oldest Franco-Ontarian bookstore is running a 20% off sale on most titles from now until December 24. They’re not open in the evening, except Thursdays. Curbside pickup is available as well as delivery for a fee.

Apt613 Pick: Premier quart by Franco-Ontarian poet Véronique Sylvain took home this year’s Prix du livre d’Ottawa.

Librairie du Soleil
33 George St.

This ByWard Market bookstore has a massive collection of books and bandes dessinées written in French, as well as a small selection of English books. Curbside pickup. Shipping is free on orders over $40.

Apt613 Pick: Présages is a collection of absurd short stories by Lisanne Rheault-Leblanc, an emerging writer based in Vieux-Hull.

Octopus Books
116 Third Ave.

Kicking it since 1969, this Glebe shop has a great selection of Canadian and Indigenous authors, and a children’s section featuring books on social awareness and life skills. They’re great for promoting emerging authors as often as award-winning names. Curbside pickup and delivery options.

Apt613 Pick: Ghost Water Kiss by Ottawa author-illustrator Jessica Bartram received praise from none other than acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro. Read his review here.

Ghost Water Kiss by Jessica B. Bartram.

Ottawa Press & Publishing

They publish local books. That’s it! “Thanks to our readers,” says publisher Ron Corbett, “we’re getting away with it.”

Apt613 Pick: Their top-selling books at the moment are Ottawa Rewind and Ottawa Rewind 2 by Andrew King, a local artist and historian who uncovers all sorts of quirks and curious facts about Ottawa.

Perfect Books
258A Elgin St.

Check Facebook for staff picks and displays. There’s a new post every couple of days. Perfect Books are awesome supporters of VERSeFEST and the Ottawa International Writers Festival… Support businesses that support local art! Shipping is $5 flat in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Apt613 Pick: Footprints of Dark Energy by local award-winning author Henry Beissel is sold out and on order in most stores… however, at the time of publishing this article, at least several copies are in stock at Perfect Books!

Bonus Pick: If you’re shopping for kids, head to the children’s corner in the back to grab a copy of Perfect Pigeons, the newest release by local children’s book author and illustrator Katherine Battersby. It’s all about celebrating what makes us different.

Singing Pebble Books
206 Main St.

Their specialty is health, healing, spirituality, wellness, self-help and psychology titles. Singing Pebble also has a great selection of Tarot decks! The current Cyber Sundays promo offers 20% off online orders. Curbside pickup and delivery options.

Apt613 Pick: A national bestseller, Love Lives Here by Ottawa author Amanda Jetté Knox is an inspirational memoir about the experiences of a transgender family that made headlines internationally when Jetté Knox was named 2019 Chatelaine Woman of the Year.

What have we missed? Leave comments below with #Support613 suggestions for all the book lovers on your holiday shopping list.