Cheap reads: 6 of the best used bookstores in Montreal

Sep 20 2022, 8:05 pm

Now that summertime is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the fall and winter seasons which means one thing: it’s about time to curl up on the couch and get lost in a book.

Montreal has a great selection of used bookstores and nothing against Indigo, but there’s so much charm and character in used shops that just add to the magical journey of choosing a book.

So, toss on a pair of your comfiest sweats and get ready to check out seven of the best used bookstores in Montreal.

Word (The)

A popular spot among McGill students, The Word is a tiny second-hand bookshop tucked into the McGill Ghetto.

Specializing in literature, poetry, and philosophy, the cluttered book shop dates back to 1975 and is a great place if you’re looking to bury yourself in a pile of books for a few hours.

Beware, the shop is cash only.

Where: 469 Rue Milton
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday to Friday, 10 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm; Sunday, closed

Argo Bookshop


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Argo Bookshop is as old as it gets for English bookstores in Montreal. Described as the “oldest English-language independent bookstore” in the city, the charming shop was established in 1966.

Despite its small size, the shelves of Argo Bookshop are stocked with thousands of books, including some of the best literary theory books in the city. Park yourself in one of their giant armchairs and get comfy, you could be here a while.

Where: 1915 Rue Sainte Catherine Est
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, noon to 6 pm; Thursday to Friday, noon to 8 pm; Saturday, noon to 6 pm; Sunday, closed

Encore Books


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Encore Books & Records is a gem of a shop that features a wide selection of used books, records, magazines, movies, and board games in a cozy little spot in NDG, all very reasonably priced.

The quiet store has a fantastic turnover with regular additions of new (old) books.

It’s admittedly difficult to walk in without buying something.

Where: 5670 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm; Thursday to Friday, 11 am to 9 pm

S W Welch Bookseller


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S W Welch is one of Montreal’s literary landmarks.

Known for their special editions and signed copies of classics, S W Welch is a cozy book nook (complete with a giant leather couch) in the Mile End.

Just a stone’s throw from the iconic Saint Viateur Bagel, this quaint shop is a perfect spot to double down on some used books and tasty bagels and coffee.

Where: 225 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest
Hours: 11 am to 6 pm

Librairie l’Échange

At Librairie l’Échange, the choices are great, the prices are good, and “there is often something you cannot find elsewhere,” according to their website.

That’s tough to beat.

With an impressive collection of French books and long hours, Librairie l’Échange is always open to book-hungry readers.

Where: 713 Mont-Royal Avenue Est
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore

Anytime a bookstore is connected to a university, you know you’re in good hands. If your hands are looking for good books, the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore has you covered.

The shop proudly offers a viable alternative to the corporate spots and puts students’ best interests beyond the rest.

The not-for-profit co-op has both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignments, gender studies, languages, and so much more.

Where: 5885 Sherbrooke Street Ouest
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, noon to 7 pm; Thursday, 1 to 8 pm; Saturday, Monday, 11 am to 5 pm; Sunday, closed

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