Sinking your teeth into a good book requires the ability to tune out ambient noise, a willingness to focus on the page, and enamel strong enough to break through leather binding. Devour paper-bound treats with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of books at The Book Man, with locations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
The Book Man’s friendly staff help bibliophiles of all ages and interests navigate the stores' half a million used tomes spread across 80 fastidiously-organized sections that represent a plenitude of genres. Revisit the classics for timeless advice from writers of yore, such as Gaston Leroux’s step-by-step guide to assembling a basement lair for brooding, The Phantom of the Opera($10). Wee book worms can peruse multifarious titles in the children’s area equipped with tiny chairs to nestle in as they pore over Babar and the Ghost ($2.50), the harrowing epic of a haunted pachyderm on a quest for peanuts and redemption.
The pooches of patrons are welcome to peruse the store to help their owners find books on lower shelves or to exchange notes on quadruped existentialism with Nietzsche, the Chilliwack location resident cat, or discuss literary symbolism with Gatsby, the Abbotsford location resident cat. As a carbon neutral business, The Book Man implements eco-friendly practices such as a bag recycling program, the installation of an energy efficient roof, and nightly readings of bedtime stories to neighbourhood trees.
The Book Man
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.