Coronavirus: Toronto bookstores offering delivery

These independent booksellers will bring you the latest reads to beat your COVID-19 boredom


While you’re cooped up at home, take a break from Netflix or doomscrolling on Twitter and support your local bookstore, many of which are offering free delivery and curbside pick-up within Toronto. Some have started virtual book clubs or selling “mystery bags”, or have staff available to recommend the best quarantine reads. Although there’s nothing quite like browsing the packed shelves of a bookstore, this is the next best option.

Type Books

For lovers of literary fiction, beautiful design tomes and drool-worthy cookbooks, Type is offering free delivery of books to the west end (King to Eglinton, Yonge to Jane) and curbside pick-up at their brick-and-mortar locations near Trinity Bellwoods (883 Queen West), the Junction (2887 Dundas West) and Forest Hill (427 Spadina). Call (416-366-8973) or email (delivery@typebooks.ca) to check inventory, get recommendations or buy a “mystery bag”, in which Type staff will pick out $100 worth of books based on your likes and dislikes. typebooks.ca

A Different Booklist

Specializing in books from the African and Caribbean diaspora, this Bathurst bookshop is offering free shipping not only in Toronto, but across the country. Scoop up some of our must-read picks for spring, like Toronto writer Eternity Martis’s debut memoir They Said This Would Be Fun and Sheena Kamal’s Scarborough-based YA novel Fight Like a Girl. adifferentbooklist.com

The Beguiling

With the Toronto Comic Arts Festival officially cancelled this year, fill the panel-shaped hole in your heart and stock up on comics and graphic novels from The Beguiling. The shop is doing free curbside pick-up from their College and Spadina location and free delivery for all orders over $50. They’re also selling puzzles from their sister shop Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop. beguilingbooksandart.com

Book City

While their four shops are closed, the family-run business has free delivery in select neighbourhoods: the east end (Broadview to Victoria Park, Lake Shore to Cosburn), Bloor West Village (Humber River to Clandenan, Queensway to Annette) and Summerhill (Avenue to Mt Pleasant, Roxborough to Kay Gardner Trail). All books are delivered within 48 hours. bookcity.ca

Mabel’s Fables

The midtown children’s bookstore is offering free delivery in the Davisville area, curbside pick-up at the store (662 Mt Pleasant) or shipping anywhere else. They just launched the Mystery Book Club for kids and teenagers, where every two weeks readers will receive a new book via curbside or delivery and discuss it over Zoom. For kids missing reading time at school, the virtual club is a way for them to chat about books across genres with other kids their age with similar interests. mabelsfables.com

Queen Books

When COVID-19 forced shop Queen Books to close their brick and mortar shop in Leslieville, they launched a web store where customers can browse the thousands of titles they have in stock or are available to be ordered. Delivery is a flat rate of $3 within Toronto. The web store is organized into handy categories like “Mysteries and Thrillers to Keep You Up at Night”, “Easy Breezy” and “Books That Will Keep You Busy For a Loooong”. They’ve also started up a new subscription service six-month and 12-month subscription service, where you’ll receive a new, hand-picked book each month. queenbooks.ca

The Anansi Bookshop

Although their Sterling shop is closed, publisher House of Anansi is offering free delivery across Canada for all orders over $35. If you’re having trouble picking your next read, send an email to bookshop@anansi.ca about a book you recently loved, and Anansi staff will give you recommendations. houseofanansi.com

Flying Books

Usually nestled within the Good Neighbour coffee shops and Gladstone Hotel, Flying Books is offering free deliveries in the city until April 30. Flying Books curates a rotating selection of fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, science and history titles. Current inventory includes Rachel Matlow’s Dead Mom Walking: A Memoir Of Miracle Cures and Other Disasters, Ling Ma’s Severance and Jenny Odell’s How To Do Nothing: Resisting The Attention Economy. flyingbooks.ca

@SamEdwardsTO

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