Born and raised in Niagara Falls, where culture takes a back seat to the awe-inspiring scenery (and surrounding glitz), I grew up without visits to an indie bookstore. Not so, my three boys. We live a ten minute walk from Book City Danforth in Toronto, and what used to be the children’s corner at the store, but has since morphed into a children’s wing, was their favourite Danforth destination. There they would each carefully skim the shelves and crack open the covers of dozens of books. Eventually each would hold out his choice, careful to position it in a way that did not hide his puppy dog eyes. Though I’d firmly said no at the candy store, the dollar store and the toy store, they anticipated a different response at Book City, and they were almost always right. What self-respecting writer could deny her children The Giving Tree, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, or Silverwing? I loved those visits it, too—long stretches where I could pick up a book, read the opening paragraphs, trying to choose between A Complicate Kindness and The Way the Crow Flies, and, with my boys fully engrossed in the children’s corner, ultimately decide I needed both. We still regularly peruse at Book City. Most recently the eldest of those Silverwing-loving boys came home from the store with Kafka’s The Metamorphosis—a bittersweet moment for me. Yes, there was pride that he had chosen well, that he was an passionate, able reader, but also a lingering sense that the small boy who’d once squatted in the children’s corner thumbing Red is Best had morphed into a full-fledged man. Jacqueline Kennedy once said “There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.” It’s something Book City Danforth helped my boys discover and for that we’ve been blessed.
Please visit your local indie on April 30th. You’ll find me helping out at Book City Danforth from 2-3pm, touting some of my favourite books.
(c) 2016 Cathy Marie Buchanan
Cathy Marie Buchanan is the author of The Day the Falls Stood Still, a New York Times bestseller, and a Canada Reads Top 40 Essential Canadian Novel of the Decade, and The Painted Girls, a #1 national bestseller, a New York Times bestseller, and an NPR, Goodreads and Good Housekeeping Best Book of 2013. Her novels have been translated into eight languages. She holds a BSc and an MBA from Western University.