6 Best Indie Bookstores in Montreal

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As a native anglophone Montrealer (we do exist!) I’m always on the lookout for independent bookstores to explore. As local indies become more of a cherished rarity in the era of e-readers and Amazon, there’s always a bookworm excuse to spend the day browsing the shelves of a good bookshop, even if it might be a bit of a commute. So lace up your running shoes, grab your biggest tote bag, and head out to one of these great literary havens in the Montreal area.

Phoenix Books

Hands down the best used bookstore in the city. Located in the NDG neighborhood, the owner Melanie is very friendly and welcoming. She’s curated an eclectic collection of titles ranging from bestsellers to out of print gems you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. She also buys your used books, which is a great way to support the business.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly

Located in the colorful Mile End neighborhood, Drawn & Quarterly is a staple of Montreal literary culture. Located in two locations both on Bernard Street West, the store was born out of its namesake comic book company which has become, according to their website, one of the most influential visual arts companies in the world. The bookstore opened in 2007, focusing on graphic novels and English-language books. D&Q is a bit of a hike from the nearest metro station, but it’s worth the visit. 

Saint Henri Books

Established in 2018, Saint Henri Books has a pretty extensive selection in a relatively small space. They also carry locally sourced zines, greeting cards, pins, patches, and other unique goodies you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. They also have their own merch and are committed to always carrying titles by POC authors and those in the queer community. So basically what I’m saying is, drop everything and shop there now.

Paragraphe Bookstore

Located on McGill College Avenue right by the university campus, Paragraphe carries everything under the sun. From textbooks to the hottest releases to expansive sections dedicated to forgotten titles from decades past, they also carry literary merch and novelty items which pretty much guarantees you’ll never leave there empty-handed.

Encore Books and Records

Another great used bookstore in the NDG area, Encore stocks a huge selection of used novel titles across all genres, as well as non-fiction coffee table books that make the perfect additions to your literary home decor. They also carry a selection of used DVDs, CDs, and vinyl records. They will buy your used books either for cash or store credit, which is always the perfect excuse to de-junk those bookshelves.

Librairie Clio

One of the only independent bookstores in the West Island, Clio has been a hidden gem in the Pointe-Claire Plaza for many years before expanding to a larger space in 2021. They carry the best new releases from every major genre as well as a great selection of classics, storybooks, children’s lit, puzzles, games, and toys. They’re always up to the challenge to track down that obscure title for you that you can’t seem to find anywhere else and offer kind, personalized customer service. Not to be missed or overlooked.

What are some of your favorite local bookstores in your city?

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