9 Places to Find Books in English in Montreal

Image via The Word Bookstore's Facebook page

If you’ve finished all the books you packed for your trip to Montreal, here are a few great places to find books in English in this Francophone city. Happy reading!

1. Chapters Indigo

When entering a Chapters Indigo, it’s not uncommon to find happiness and even things you weren’t really looking for! You won’t see the time — or your money — go. There you’ll find household items of all kinds, stationery, games, and toys for children, but also, and especially, books in French and English. Online, some bestsellers are sometimes sold at a 40% discount. — 1500 Avenue McGill College

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2. Drawn & Quarterly 

It is a must-see and even a Mile End institution: the Drawn & Quarterly bookstore and publishing house. In this small, independent, English-language bookstore, you’ll find books published by Drawn & Quarterly as well as comics, graphic novels, American bestsellers, and more. In 2017, the store even opened a shop dedicated to children’s books, La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly. Be careful, you may spend hours there. Finally, they have regularly organized book cubs, which we recommend highly. — 211, rue Bernard O; 176, rue Bernard O

3. Paragraphe Bookstore

Another Montreal institution. The cornerstone of Montreal’s literary scene for nearly 30 years, Paragraphe Bookstore is among the best in Canada. In this English-language institution, a wide range of books are offered on a variety of topics ranging from history and current affairs to fiction, documentary, travel and even children’s literature. The bookstore is also the main supplier of English-language books to Quebec libraries. Events are organized regularly and are definitely worth attending. — 2220, avenue McGill College

4. Eva-B

Located on boulevard Saint-Laurent, the Eva-B thrift store is the kind of place you wouldn’t normally go into if you didn’t know was in there. And yet, through the entrance, there is a real cave of (cheap) wonders. At Eva-B, you can find everything and anything for just a few dollars: lumberjack shirts, leather jackets, glasses, costume jewelry, films, costumes, shoes, and books! The store also offers coffee and snacks and the prices are unbeatable, $2 per latte and $1 per cookie (taxes included!) and employees refuse to take tips. You can basically spend all day at Eva-B. — 2015 Boul. St-Laurent

5. The Word Bookstore

Credit: Nick King-Edwards

If you like books that have already had nice lives on shelves in other homes, you’ll love The Word, a bookstore opened in 1975 next door to McGill University that offers a nice selection of used books. Allow yourself some time to find something great… fiction, poetry, philosophy, history, political science, and more — it’s a gold mine for lovers of fine literature. The establishment also buys books, so don’t hesitate to bring your old, loved books with you. — 469 rue Milton

6. À la BanQ

The Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal has an absolutely incredible collection of options for anyone in Montreal as a resident or with a visa. More than 2 million books are available free of charge in this 33,000 square meter building. You’ll find everything and anything: Victor Hugo’s classics, Leïla Slimani’s latest novel, Penelope Bagieu’s comic book, and more. And books in English, of course! Between 20% and 25% of the Grande Bibliothèque’s loan collection of paperbacks is made up of English-language books. How much does it cost? Nothing. The library card, valid for 2 years, requires proof of identity, your visa, and proof of residence (a piece of mail or something from your bank of phone provider will do). — 475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est

7. Encore Books and Records

Over in NDG (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce), Encore Books and Records, a book and record store, will satisfy your desire for something unique to read — it’s a guaranteed treasure hunt. There’s something for everyone in this treasure trove. Opened in 2004, the shop is as welcoming as it is warm. Comfortable sofas, good music and well-organized sections also make the place charming and easy to navigate. Don’t go there without bringing the books you’re finished with, they’ll buy them from you. Since 2014, the bookstore has also housed a small print studio in the basement of the store. — 5670 Sherbrooke Ouest

8 & 9. Chez Renaud Bray and Archambault

Finally, Archambault and Renaud Bray are excellent options. You’ll find lots of books in English, and if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for it’s possible to order things on site and online. — Archambault’s locations here; Renaud Bray’s locations here

This is not a complete list of all English language bookstores in Montreal, so let us know your favorites in the comments!

This article first appeared on our sister site, Maudits Français.