Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal, QC H2T 2K5
I love leisurely visits to the bookstore. However, I am cognizant to the fact that this pleasure of mine is becoming an extinct activity — when you can get cheaper prices online and download e-books to your Kindle, what is the use of going to a bookstore? Personally, I always love holding a book; I love flipping through its pages, appreciating the cover art and layout, and feeling the weight of the cover between my hands. So it may be of surprise that while I love technology I am not converting to e-books just yet. And as long as brick and mortar retail bookstores exist, I will always be that regular patron taking up an aisle space a bit too long.
Drawn & Quarterly is one of those bookstores that I truly appreciate and not just because it is amongst the last independent bookstores standing. It has a small storefront in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montréal although it is also a publisher that specializes in comics and literary arts. Notably, D&Q “discovered” the comic book artist Daniel Clowes and his series Ghost World, which became a motion picture in 2001 starring Thora Birch and a young Scarlett Johansson.
As expected, D&Q stocks quite a bit of graphic novels including works published in-house, such as those by Canadian cartoonist Seth; the famous Maus series by Art Spiegelman; as well as lesser known authors to discover. The store also hosts a slew of events in support of comic book and graphic novel artists in addition to other cultural gatherings. Also of note: the store is one of the few places in the city where you can grab a copy of David Chang’s (of Momofuku fame) quarterly magazine, Lucky Peach. Plus, they have a bookshelf built in the shape of a rocket to hold a whack of Tintin’s comics.
In a nutshell I would say that D&Q is très Montréal: the store is bilingual (it carries both English and French language books); it it artsy, cultured, independent, and experimental; and of course, it loves Tintin. Plus, the store is located in the very happening neighbourhood of Mile End where you can grab some fresh bagels after your bookstore visit (St. Viateur and Fairmont), and shop at a friperie for stylish vintage wear. You can do all of this while gawking at anglophone hipsters and famous musicians that live in the neighbourhood. Which I may or may have not done — what a lame way of wasting an afternoon that would be.