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The Halifax Literary Walking Tour

The Book Room
The Book Room, 1546 Barrington St.

4. The Book Room

For over 165 years, The Book Room has been supplying Haligonians with their favourite reading materials. It all started in late 1839, in Rev. Charles Churchill’s living room. The Wesleyan minister took book orders from his friends and sent the requests with the first available ship sailing to England. The idea soon grew to be so popular that Churchill published a best sellers list in the Wesleyan Newspaper.

By 1876, the enterprise grew into a storefront retail business on Granville Street. In 1925, the store changed its name from The Wesleyan Book Room to The Ryerson Press Book Room to reflect the interests of a broader clientele. The store also began to heavily promote emerging Nova Scotian and Canadian authors. The book store has moved many times since the end of World War Two, becoming simply The Book Room. They moved to their present location in 1996 and still proudly boast being Canada’s oldest bookstore.

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