27 Of Our Best Bookstores in Montreal Must Visit

27 Of Our Best Bookstores in Montreal Must Visit

In Montreal, books are a part of life and culture. It is not only home to some of the best bookshops in the world, but also one of the most charming cities in North America.

We’ve been compiling lists of bookstores all over the world for years, but today we’re looking at our favourite bookstores in Montreal.

From small independent stores to large chain stores, here are some of our favourite independent bookstores in Montreal.

27 of our favourite indie bookstores in Montreal

1. Librairie Drawn and Quarterly

Drawn & Quarterly, in Montreal’s Mile End, is likely the city’s best-known bookstore. The collection is aimed towards younger readers and features several graphic novel titles, manga, and self-published books.

When it comes to hosting book launch parties for Montreal authors, Drawn and Quarterly is the place to be.

Unfortunately, this is not the place to go if you’re yearning for the antiquated aroma of an ancient bookshop filled with the paper and leather of bygone eras. There’s nothing dated about Drawn and Quarterly.

2. Librairie Le Port de Tête

As the sun sets on Mont Royal Avenue, the throng gathered for the evening’s author reading and signing can be seen in the shop’s yellow-lit display windows.

This bookshop has been serving the Plateau, Quebec, francophone population for over a decade, stocking both new and old books in the humanities.

This library has a variety of fanzines and journals from indie publishers as well as the mainstream ones that aren’t widely available elsewhere in Quebec.

3. The Word

This secondhand bookshop, housed in a converted Chinese laundry, has been a must-visit for McGill students and locals alike since it opened in 1975.

Owners Adrian King Edwards and Lucille Friesen started spreading the book-bound word from an underground bookstore in their former apartment a block away, where they keep their most prized collectibles.

Now, the bookstore is located in a 19th-century teal brick building with a large tome-lined windowsill (available to visit on demand).

Amidst the packed shelves and one dollar heaps of fiction, philosophy, theater, and other jewels, you may find collections by Montreal poets under a picture of Leonard Cohen.

There is no other form of payment accepted at this establishment but cash.

4. Appetite For Books

Westmount is home to a shop where you may hone your culinary skills and expand your mind through the exchange of food and ideas.

A wide variety of French and English literature on food and cooking is available at this bookstore, from vegetarian comfort food to Montreal Cooks, a collection of recipes from the city’s greatest chefs jointly authored by the shop’s owner and chef, Jonathan Cheung.

If you’re looking for a taste test, you may sign up for cookbook companion workshops taught by Cheung or guest chef Yohai Rubin.

5. S.W. Welch Bookseller

S. W. Welch Bookseller is the best location in the Mile End area to buy used paperbacks, hardcovers, and antique books.

Welch’s red storefront and display windows have become the back of the cereal box to St. Viateur’s outdoor diners since the business relocated there in 2007 from its original site on the Main.

Inside, you’ll find a more serious crowd of readers perusing the shelves and perusing the classics and curiosities spread out on the large center tables. Daily, we stay open till 7 o’clock, so you may come by anytime.

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6. Argo Bookshop

Despite the closure and gentrification of its neighbors in Shaughnessy Village, Montreal’s oldest small Anglo bookshop has lasted for almost fifty years because to its committed community of readers and authors.

In its 200 square feet of space, you’ll find nearly 6,000 publications covering fields as diverse as linguistics, Japan, and fantasy.

Every week, the shop has readings that feature the work of local and visiting poets and authors, and the business’s rear office may be used as a cozy coworking area with affordable drip coffee.

7. Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore

South of McGill University, you’ll find Librairie Paragraphe, the largest distributor of English-language books to libraries in Quebec.

There are over 50,000 books available across academic, fiction, children’s, and other genres, but the space is clean, well-lit, and welcoming thanks to its many comfortable seating options and free Wi-Fi.

Nonfiction intellectuals (Malcolm Gladwell included), university professors, and Canadian authors are regulars at the bookstore on their book tour.

8. Librairie L’Échange

You wouldn’t know that Librairie L’Échange has been a part of the Plateau neighborhood since the 1970s to look at its newly painted exterior, hand-lettered windows, and refurbished interiors.

The French bookstore buys and sells secondhand books, graphic novels, and zines, and is conveniently located near the Mont Royal Metro.

Bring in your used books and receive a tax refund in the form of shop credit or change, or just stop on by to see what new books have been added to the shelves or the free box in the window.

9. Chez l’Éditeur

It is possible to run into a writer or actor at one of these cafés littéraires, which are located near the offices of Québec Amérique and Cardinal Publisher in Villeray and the offices of Roy Turner Communications and Québec Amérique in Griffintown, respectively.

With a cup of third-wave coffee in one hand and a ham-and-butter sandwich in the other, peruse the French catalog of the publishing firm.

Both cafes are flexible and may easily be set up for book-related events such as book launches, concerts, and other celebrations.

10. Cheap Thrills

This downtown shop, hidden away on the upper level of a historic walk-up and more well-known for selling vinyl records and concert tickets, has been selling used books since 1971.

Zines, novels, and paperback philosophy (think Kierkegaard, Sartre, and iek) are as readily available as band histories, artist anthologies, and other musical chronicles.

You should expect to leave with a bag full of strange and arty items, in addition to the many mainstream cult masterpieces you may have picked up.

11. L’Euguélionne

The proprietors of the feminist bookstore and non-profit solidarity co-op recommend the use of le gay lion as a phonetic help if you have trouble pronouncing the name.

The Gay Village store, which debuted a few years ago, takes its name from the Martian protagonist of a novel by Louky Bersianik. The shop also sells zines, comics, periodicals, and print art.

The sole feminist bookshop in town, this establishment places a strong emphasis on LGBT+ and anti-racist and anti-colonial literature, as well as books written by and about women’s rights activists.

The open atmosphere is promoted by the regular roundtable talks, workshops, and reading groups hosted by the helpful employees.

12. Crossover Comics

If you’re looking for comics, graphic novels, trading cards, or any other gaming-related ephemera in Saint Henri, you’ll find it here.

The store’s selection extends well beyond the standard fare of superhero comics and graphic novels to encompass a broad variety of independent works in genres as disparate as romance and science fiction.

On Thursdays, you may play Magic: The Gathering or Dungeons & Dragons, and on Wednesdays, you can get 20% off comics and stay late for Coffee, Culture, and Comics.

Don’t leave without picking up a bookmark, created just for the shop by upcoming artists.

13. Librairie Bertrand

Since 1952, this Old Montreal bookstore has been serving bookworms from both the English and French speaking communities.

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The greystone structure it calls home provides a fittingly old-fashioned setting for perusing the shop’s well stocked bookshelves.

The collection is actually rather large, covering a wide variety of subjects and forms, and appealing to readers of all ages. Check out the literature wall, relax on one of the red leather lounge chairs, and take in the view of the rear yard.

14. Encore Books and Records

This family-run business is a mainstay of the Notre Dame de Grâce area, and they provide gently worn books and recordings a second shot at life. Most books are in English, although there are a few French titles available as well.

Genres sold here include general fiction, philosophy, thrillers, science fiction, history, art, and graphic novels. The basement also has a design studio where you can buy art prints, city maps, historical advertisements, and posters for movies and books.

15. Komico

This store, which claims to be Montreal’s oldest comic book dealer, has a dedicated clientele that frequents the establishment to browse, purchase, and exchange new and used comics, action figures, and other memorabilia.

Following a fire at its previous site on Decarie in Notre Dame de Grâce in 2014, the café had to relocate to its new location, where it is currently open from Monday to Saturday.

Lee, the proprietor, has over 30 years of experience in the field and can provide you with expert advice.

16. Librairie Saint-Henri Books

The 2018-founded boho chic bookshop connected to Saint Henri’s Café Cordova has everything serious readers and curious minds may want.

Saint Henri Books is still young, but its 3000+ titles show that it has been carefully curated to include everything from blockbusters and classics to books for kids of all ages, coffee table books, and even cookbooks.

It has a #shoplocal vibe thanks to its assortment of zines, prints, bags, and other items made by local artists.

Its location, just off the main drag on Notre Dame Street, makes it a great place to take a date, quietly ponder alone, or kill time while waiting for your brunch reservation; in the winter, it’s warm and inviting, and in the summer, you can sip coffee on the terrace (see.that connection with Cordova).

17. La Librairie de Verdun

This Verdun-based bookstore, along with its sister locations at Librairie Livresse in Little Burgundy and Librairie Les Passages in Lachine, carefully curates an impressive collection of French literature.

This spot has several great bonuses, such as a wide selection of cookbooks and cocktail guides, as well as a great selection of books for kids.

Given the proximity to the kitchen and bar supply store, the latter focus is crucial. Need a microplane to make that fancy garnish you saw in a recipe but don’t have one? You won’t be alone in this place.

18. Café Éclair

It’s impossible to think about either coffee (or tea) or books without immediately thinking of the other. This July 2019 addition to the Mile End is a beautiful synthesis of the interests of caffeine addicts and smokers.

Boutique in every sense of the word, this establishment is the brainchild of a formidable team of local hospitality and café professionals.

Berlin’s Barn and British Columbia’s Bows & Arrows coffee is served alongside a thematically rotating collection of literary and graphic works in both languages.

19. Bibliophile Books

Reading enthusiasts form a tight-knit group that frequents this English bookstore on the Queen Mary.

Sandra Climan, the store’s creator and proprietor, has been greeting customers and giving book recommendations to those she knows by name for more than 30 years.

Join the Grandparent Club to have a book mailed to your grandchild every month, or become a member of The Baker’s Dozen Book Club to receive a free gift after purchasing 12 or more books.

20. Renaud-Bray

With its initial store located on Chemin de la Côte des Neiges in 1965, this book business has grown to encompass over 30 sites across the province and became the largest French language book chain in North America.

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Books of various shapes and sizes, from little pocketbooks to voluminous tomes suitable for a coffee table, may be found at the countless double-height shops that line Parc Avenue and Saint Denis.

The Renaud Bray Bazar on Mont Royal is a great place to get deals if you’re looking to stretch your dollar.

21. Librairie Saga Bookstore

It was during the height of the epidemic that Ilya Razykov and Mathieu Lauzon Dicso decided to launch their bookstore, Saga.

Perhaps not the most brilliant move, but the two entrepreneurs recognized a way to meet and connect with consumers by offering shipping through their online store and physically delivering the books personally.

Anyone with a penchant for the macabre or the fantastic will find this an ideal hangout. They also have a large selection of nonfiction, young adult, and children’s literature in addition to science fiction and fantasy.

22. Librairie Gourmande

Ann Fortin opened Librairie Gourmande, a cookbook speciality shop, in the Marché Jean Talon neighborhood in 2004.

Here you’ll find a wonderful assortment of French and English cookbooks, both for novices and seasoned cooks alike.

The books of Librairie Gourmande are not just focused on gourmet cuisine, but the store is also well-known for promoting the works of local and international chefs.

This is the place to go if you have a passion for food, are interested in cooking, or want to improve your abilities in the kitchen.

23. Argo

Argo completes the story begun in Drawn and Quarterly. A traditional bookstore, complete with the atmosphere you’d expect to find among retired librarians, rare artifacts, and the works of all the greatest authors.

The selection of secondhand books at Argo is impressive and comprehensive. Academic tomes and the latest New York Times bestsellers can be found here.

Although Argo lacks the hip vibe of Drawn and Quarterly, its traditional style should nevertheless appeal to those who like more traditional publications.

24. Bibliophile Bookstore

A staple of London’s literary scene for over four decades, Bibliophile is an independent English bookstore. A wide selection of books, including novels, nonfiction, kids’ literature, and culinary tomes, are available.

The Baker’s Dozen Book Club is a fun loyalty program offered by Bibliophile. If you buy twelve books, the store will credit you the average price of those twelve toward the purchase of your thirteenth book.

Grandparents may join up for the Grandparent Club, and each month, their grandchildren will get a new book from Bibliophile. If you’re looking for some great reads, be sure to peruse shop owner Sandra’s recommendations.

25. Librairie Gallimard

Montreal is the capital of Quebec, a French-speaking province, and the Librarie Gallimard is a French bookshop. Gallimard is the place to go if you’re a Francophile in search of something to read dans le language d’amore.

The sheer volume of books on display at this local bookstore makes window shopping an enjoyable experience in itself. If you don’t know French, you won’t be able to shop at Gallimard, but if you do, you’ll be in heaven.

26. L’Échange

The hub of Montreal’s French community, L’Échange is also a vinyl record store with a wide selection of music in both French and English.

There is a wide variety of publications available for the Francophile, from philosophical to classic to best-selling to humorous to culinary. As opposed to English, French offers a plethora of linguistic alternatives.

27. Librairie T. Westcott

There are a lot of books and kitties here. A few cats live there permanently, so it’s not quite a cat cafe. There are so many books that they can’t be stored on the shelves. T. Westcott is an English and French secondhand bookstore.


There are our best 28 bookstores in Montreal, which we found to be amazing, interesting, charming, and creative. Some have unique personalities, others offer great service, and most provide excellent value for money.

Some books are just meant to be read at a bookstore, while others, like novels and biographies, can only be read at the bookstores listed below. Find the perfect spot for all your book needs.

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