Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Book Shop Spot: Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Tofino, Canada

...and a mini book haul

Mermaid Tales Bookshop - Tofino, Vancouver Island

I'm going to start doing semi-regular posts on Book Shop Spots; a brief review of bookshops I've visited. The majority of these will probably be located around Suffolk in the UK as that's where I'm based, but I'll start off with a book shop on the other side of the world; Mermaid Tales Bookshop in Tofino in British Columbia, Canada.

My now husband and I recently had our honeymoon in Canada, visiting Vancouver Island among other places. Of course, while were there I managed to sniff out a book shop. This small shop is situated in the town of Tofino which is on the beautiful Vancouver Island with Clayoquot Sound just off its shores.

I could bang on about how beautiful this area of British Columbia is; with its rainforests, mountains, long beaches and more. But I'll try and keep focused on the book shop. I will say though that if you ever get a chance to visit the Tofino area, do. Tofino has a really laid-back vibe, focused around beach life and the outdoors.

Anyway, book shop.
Mermaid Tales Bookshop is rather small but it didn't feel overcrowded like a lot of tiny book shops do. It was well laid out in clear sections and I got the feeling everything had been hand selected. I did a little research and the website confirmed this was true, stating that as a small shop they have "pre-selected only good books."

Biographies at Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Tofino, Vancouver Island

I certainly found that almost every book jumped off the shelf. I was immediately drawn to a beautiful copy of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane as soon as I walked in.

The shop has a good children's book selection, with lots of the books having a local theme, think whales, bears, birds and even one about Tsunamis I have nightmares about tsunamis, they scare the living shit out of me, so was overjoyed to be staying in a tsunami zone!). This obviously appeals to tourists (me) but the shop also has a good selection of general popular children's books and classics.

Children's books at Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Tofino, Vancouver Island

Children's books at Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Tofino, Vancouver Island

Speaking of classics, I got slightly obsessed with these World Cloud Classic books.

World Cloud Classics - Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Tofino

World Cloud Classics, published by Canterbury Classics

I've never seen these editions before. They are published by Canterbury Classics and feature word clouds with quotes from the books on the covers. The covers are faux leather and really soft and flexible, in bright but not garish colours, they really draw they eye. They have foil stamped titles that pop out at you too. They have a contemporary look and feel but I think they'll stand the test of time and still be much loved in the future.
Unfortunately I don't think you can buy the World Cloud Classics in the UK (please inform me if I'm wrong) but I think some sites will ship here.

While a little more pricey than your average paperback, they weren't a ridiculous price, they cost around CAD20.99 (about £12) from Mermaid Tales Bookshop.

I had to buy one and I stood there for ages trying to choose while Tim grew increasingly frustrated. Eventually I settled on Aesop's Fables as I have never actually read any of them. I will do a proper review of it soon as it has beautiful illustrations and end papers too.

In addition to Aesop's Fables I also bought the copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane that had caught me as I came in, and also Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. I mainly picked it because of its cover, which I know is bad, but I realised it's by Emma Donoghue who is well-known for Room (which I still haven't read) so I thought I'd give it a try, especially as it's a thriller and I do love me a good thriller.

Frog Music, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Aesop's Fables

I could have bought a lot more books but kept it down to three, which is pretty impressive for me. I also got two free bookmarks with mermaid illustrations on, and I like anything free.

Mini book haul from Mermaid Tales Bookshop in Tofino, Vancouver Island

Mermaid Tales Book is a great little find with a good selection of both popular and the more unusual books. It's especially good for children's literature.

If you want to learn more, take a look at the website, they list their books on there but as far as I'm aware you can't actually buy them direct from the site.

Find Mermaid Tales Bookshop at 455 Campbell Street, Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0

Has anyone else been to the Mermaid Tales Bookshop? What did you think of it?

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