Here is the second of our reviews of local Montreal books stores.
Paragraphe is the biggest of the non-chain bookstores in town. It resides in a sleek, glass-fronted building, right outside the gates of McGill. Walking in, you're greeted with an upscale, well-presented, store, with a selection that rivals any of the big-box superstores. It would be a mistake to assume that it is simply another place to pick up bestsellers, however. Paragraphe incorporates its traditions as one of Montreal's longest running English-language bookstores with its modern business.
Each week, authors, artists, and speakers are brought in to show their work and meet with the public. There are two regular series (Books and Breakfast and Words After Dark) that feature well-known authors as well as frequent appearances by lesser-known writers throughout the month. Hosting such a huge number of readings for all sorts of books is a great service, and certainly unique to that store.
In addition, they show a lot of support for Canadian authors on the shelves and keep a well-stock political discourse section. Since they cater to the McGill student crowd, they put common course books aside to save them from wandering the stacks.
If you're looking for a hidden gem, or a well-worn classic, this isn't the right place. But if you're looking for a newer title, or kids books, or any of the other types of books that aren't well serviced by independent bookstores, then Paragraphe offers a great alternative to the monolithic Chapters/Indigo.
Paragraphe is located on 2220 McGill College (corner of Sherbrooke Ouest)
If you'd like to pick up Here Be Monsters, it is in the Anthology section, on the left as you enter.