I’ve just learned today that one of my favourite places to shop for new and used books and magazines has closed up shop. Granville Books suffered not so much from competition for sales from the behemoth Chapters store around the corner, but from the high rents and gentrification pushing their way up Granville Mall scattering Future Shop and Winners in it’s wake. Several eclectic and independent shops on the same block have moved or gone out of business in recent weeks. The best shoe store in the world is right across the street from where Granville Books (sniff) used to be. I think I had better keep an eye on it.
Downtown Vancouver is transforming so quickly. The sounds of construction are on every corner in the heart of the city, but they are building condos, not offices or shops. The condos come with fancy names (Brava, the Hudson, L’Hermitage) and marketing campaigns tugging at buyers with images of the live-work-shop urban lifestyle downtown. At the same time, businesses are finding it harder to get office space and my friends the bookstores and clubs are falling down. Two of my former clubbing hangouts have been demolished for big condo towers filled with people who make more money than sense.
Should I fear for my other favourite bookstores in case their streets become the next city clean-up/trendification/beautification projects of planners and shoppers alike?
Whatever, I’ll miss those grizzly guys at Granville Books and overhearing their charged political debates while perusing the shelves. I’m sorry I didn’t buy more magazines.

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