At The Book Man’s two locations, half a million used books beckon to readers, impeccably organized into 72 categories on deep shelves and in spacious drawers. Family owned and operated by a daughter and father team, Amber and book man David illuminate wordy wares with full-spectrum lighting, which helps browsers find a specific book or take a peek at the first sentences of an unfamiliar tome. Although they stock plenty of well-known classics and bestsellers, one of David's favourite aspects of owning a bookstore is stocking unusual treasures. “That’s the whole fun of the bookstore,” he says, “finding those things that people didn’t know they were looking for until they see it.” Amber boasts 20-plus years of experience, oversees inventory databasing, and drives the internet and mail order aspect of their business, allowing customers to contact The Book Man and order books to be placed on hold.
Praised as a local gem by Fraser Valley Pulse, the shop has won awards for Best Bookstore in Chilliwack with its comfortable environment. The store’s unique, reader-friendly spirit has two mascots in store cats Nietzsche and Gatsby, who stalk the shelves of both stores and greet favoured guests with mewling demands to be petted. Customers are free to bring their dogs with them, or plop kiddies down in a play area lined with thousands of picture books and early readers.