End of an era: secondhand bookstore to close
Published Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:29PM EDT
Any day now, Terry Westcott will close his beloved bookstore for good.
His secondhand bookshop has been in its current location on St. Laurent Blvd. for six years -- before that he was on Ste. Catherine St. -- but now its time has come to an end.
Westcott's trouble started when his lease ended in 2016.
"The landlord has been very good to me. He reduced the rent from the original amount and lowered it. He told me it was the first time he'd ever done that, so I could keep the store going," said Westcott.
But now a new tenant has made the landlord a better offer, and so Westcott has been told to pack up and leave. The new tenant will move in by January.
Westcott has decided that after moving once, six years ago, he's not willing to move again at age 74.
It's a painful decision, made difficult because it's not his choice to close.
"It's a passion. Books are a passion," said Westcott.
He is currently selling off his entire stock, and whatever remains will be sent to school libraries.
Within the past week about 600 books were dumped outside, the result of the landlord removing bookshelves and renovating for the incoming tenant.
Over the years Westcott has enjoyed meeting others who share that passion, from those who have travelled to exotic locales, to authors like Margaret Atwood.
"She said these are secondhand books eh? And I said yes they are, and she said you know I don't make any money from these... and I said no, you don't," joked Westcott.
Actor Owen Wilson came in one day looking for a Mordecai Richler book -- which Westcott did not have in stock.
Although it's possible the book was hidden underneath piles of other volumes.
"Every day I work at cleaning it up and every morning when I come in I say, did I work here yesterday? Because it looks even messier. I think they breed at night like rabbits," said Westcott.
When he does close up shop for the last time, Westcott will take a lifetime of stories with him.
"It's my home away from home. I'll miss it, I'll miss it tremendously."