Before it became “the grotto shrine to the fetish object formerly known as the book,” ... Letters Bookshop was a karate dojo, of all things. The store is located on a desolate strip in a sketchy part of Thunder Bay, across the street from a bakery and the train tracks. From the sidewalk it appears to be abandoned, the kind of shuttered business blighting small towns all over the country; the windows have been boarded up, although an attentive passerby might notice the plywood has been painted with scenes from the prehistoric Lascaux cave walls in France – some of humankind’s earliest stories. There’s little indication that what may be Canada’s most unusual collection of books is housed inside, carefully curated, over the course of five decades, by one of the more unusual personalities the Canadian book trade has ever produced.
Walking through the store is an overwhelming experience. Everywhere I look I spot something I’ve never seen before and will probably never see again. I could have picked a single shelf of a single bookcase and spent my entire visit studying its contents.
Mark Medley, "Wonder of Thunder Bay: Look inside a gallery of overlooked books." The Globe and Mail, January 26, 2016.
Thanks to Abbey R. for the link.