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Books & Lit

Toronto Women's Bookstore re-opens

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 13, 2010

Toronto Women's BookstoreAfter facing a financial crisis in December, then some management shuffles a few months ago, the Toronto Women's Bookstore has finally re-opened its doors.

According to Quill & Quire, the store is now a traditional for-profit business, rather than a not-for-profit as it was before. New owner Victoria Moreno considers the opening a "soft" one, since she says there is still more work to be done inside.

Moreno is currently installing a café with seating and WiFi on the first floor. Though stock is still meagre, course orders have begun rolling in from the University of Toronto. TWB has also started booking events, which are currently slated right through October.

It remains to be seen if a more event-based approach will ensure the store's long term success, but with the number of independents dwindling, it's nice to see them having a go at it.

More to come when the store gets a bit further along in the reboot process.

Photo by 1310LGBTQ on Flickr.



Ashleigh / August 13, 2010 at 04:40 pm
As a feminist and avid reader, it pains me to say that this bookstore gives a bad name to independent book retailers everywhere. I am not surprised they've run into financial difficulties considering their constant mismanagement of orders and their inability to deal with customers effectively.
As a recent U of T grad, I and my fellow arts students can attest to the the unreliability of the Toronto Women's Bookstore. They would rarely manage to order the correct number of books for a course, and would often carry the incorrect edition or be extremely late in their ordering. Every course I took in my 4 years at U of T who used the TWS to provide the required reading - presumably the professor's benevolent attempt to help a small retailer rather than the giant University of Toronto Bookstore - would always end in the students waiting for weeks after classes had started for enough of the correct editions to come in, regardless of how early the prof had ordered them. The staff were also generally extremely unhelpful and uninformed when frantic students were forced to find their textbooks elsewhere.
Long story short, I am not surprised that the TWS is suffering from financial problems. I'm sure they have alienated and disappointed enough profs and students alike over the years with their lack of reliability. Hopefully this will be a new beginning for the retailer.
Agatha / August 14, 2010 at 02:47 am
TWB is starting to sound like it is duplicating the business model of the giant bookstore chain that has dominant market share. Let's hope for the best, this bookstore is needed despite its shortcomings.
deezl / August 14, 2010 at 10:21 am
Friendly, efficient service is part of the imperialist, misogynist paradigm that needs to be exposed, confronted and eradicated !

What are you blind!!

Rachel / August 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm
I'm all for independent bookstores but I have to say that I disliked the relationship TWB had with UofT prior to its closing. The bookstore previously had a few strong political stances, some of which I simply disagreed with, yet I had to buy readers for my classes and ultimately supports causes I didn't want to.

Good for TWB for surviving and advocating for its beliefs (I mean this sincerely), I just wish I had more power to decide how to spend my money. At least the UofT bookstore is apolitical.
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