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Bookstores

Eliot's Bookshop

Posted by Staff / Posted on January 14, 2008

Eliot's Bookshop
Eliot's Bookshop is a three story bookstore near Yonge and Wellesley that sells a huge variety of used books including many classic literature.

Discussion

31 Comments

Nexus 6 / May 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm
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Eliot's scholarly books are way overpriced. He has titles that've been on his shelves for years because no one is willing to pay what he's asking. What's more, he's not really big on negotiating a fair price. Atticus Books is considerably better.
Colleen / June 23, 2009 at 04:25 pm
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I've lived in Toronto for about 5 years now but only recently made my way to Eliot's. I can't speak to other sections, but their literature selection is phenomenal.
bookhunter replying to a comment from Nexus 6 / August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am
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half the cover price or less is overpriced? They have the best selection of books of all categories (in the best condition too) in the GTA,period.
Ticaccomb / May 17, 2010 at 08:15 am
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terry the censor replying to a comment from Ticaccomb / June 8, 2010 at 05:14 pm
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@Ticaccomb Don't hijack pages for your own benefit. Shame.
mj / December 15, 2010 at 05:23 pm
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Eliot's has a great selection of literature and fair prices, no doubt, but after 20 years of loyal patronage, I won't go back. What happened was that as I was browsing near the front of the store when a couple brought in a number of very old books dating back to the 1750s. The negotiation of price between the couple and the owner didn't seem to be going very well, and I confided in a low voice to the man that perhaps he would have better luck with an antiquarian book dealer (what he possessed was extremely rare and would undoubtedly command a much higher price than what was being offered). Well, the owner heard what I had said to the man (how he heard, I don't know), exploded in a rage that bordered on unbalanced, and ordered me out. A very ugly scene and quite disturbing for me and the couple (who promptly left, but thanked me outside of the store). If you shop there, I suggest you keep your mouth shut, hand over your money, and quietly leave.
mj / December 15, 2010 at 05:29 pm
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Was I wrong in the sense that I potentially stole a profit from the owner of Eliot's, or was I right in the sense that I kept 2 unaware people from being potentially ripped off? It's a bit of a moral quandary for me.
terry the censor / December 15, 2010 at 05:48 pm
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@mj
> Was I wrong
Yes, you were wrong. It's a place of business, but not your place of business. Unless you see clear fraud happening -- and this is not the case, based on your description -- shut up.
I also am highly skeptical that the owner blew up the way you describe it while he was trying to negotiate with sellers.
Matt replying to a comment from mj / December 18, 2010 at 09:46 am
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No, you were not wrong, I'm sure the people who were selling the books appreciated your comments.
Rupert Psmith replying to a comment from mj / March 13, 2011 at 10:42 am
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No, you were not wrong. You most likely prevented the sellers from being ripped off. The post by Nexus 6 here also doesn't think highly of Eliot's negotiations.
Liz / May 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm
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mj No, you were not wrong. It is not right to sit by and see something that is not right and do nothing. The fact that the couple left the store does say that something happened to cause them to leave, and obviously more than just a discussion of how much they could get for their books.
Satch / June 30, 2011 at 02:16 pm
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Hey, that's poerwufl. Thanks for the news.
Mike / November 11, 2011 at 09:51 pm
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Wow. That does not inspire me to want to go in there. As someone that lives outside of the city and it takes a fair bit to commute, I can cross this one off the list. You'd think with the power of technology and social media, they have yet to catch on to word-of-mouth advertising as the most powerful tool from consumers. If I were the owner of this place, I wouldn't defend my actions, rather apologize and give them what they want. The customer is always right no matter how much you think you're more.
Massa / December 18, 2011 at 04:26 pm
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Does this book store have coffee table books? Or... fat big books about art or culture?
Lynn / January 23, 2012 at 07:59 pm
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I just called there to ask about online shopping. The man was cranky and abrupt. He had me off the phone in 30 seconds, no kidding. I am visiting Toronto next week...and now I will Not be stopping in there. I don't know how he stays in business. Maybe it's time to retire.
Jenn / April 14, 2012 at 11:43 am
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I had a bad customer service experience with the guy at the counter, not sure if hes the owner or what...

I walked in and he was chatting it up with his friend behind the counter - whatever no big deal but heres where it went downhill:

After browsing a while, I asked him where the biography section was. He pointed to an isle, I headed towards it, rather than getting off his ass to show me where the shelf was, all i got was him directing me saying " keep going....further....further....by that little sign over there..... keep going....... turn left.....a bit further......u missed it...... walk a step back...." GET OFF UR ASS AND DO UR JOB DUDE. it was a bit embarrassing.

it didnt stop there; then i headed upstairs to browse, found a book and went to pay

then got really irritated.

I put the book down and was like 'Ill take this please' ....so i stand there for a good...3 minutes!...(i saw the time when i checked my cell) as he IGNORED me and talked to his friend behind the counter about the hunger games!

I think this guy was high or something, his eyes were REALLY glassy ...he was extremely rude. He should not be dealing with customers. Ive worked front desk at plenty of places and I have been able to process a transaction while talking to someone AT THE SAME TIME.

The selection was decent but i am so not going back bc the staff is terrible, this dude needs to be fired ASAP
David / April 28, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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This is one of the best bookshops in Toronto. The collection is very diverse, one can find treasures in the shelves and he owner is a gentleman.
bekkem / June 5, 2012 at 10:14 am
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can i get books to prepare for PEBC exam?? misbah books??
bob / August 12, 2012 at 10:12 am
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you know what kids, think about it, when Seinfeld ended their t.v. program, the soup nazi needed a job, so now he runs a bookshop. nuk! nuk! "no book for you - out"
Jasson / August 13, 2012 at 02:19 pm
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owner has no elementary knowledge !!! He came from Turkey or Greece when he was very jung. And worked in sex shoop for more then 15 years, and after open a bookstore!!!
I ask from him Petrarca and Cesare Pavese poetry,Hi never heard of that before and give me a weird look for no reason?
Torontowoman / July 17, 2013 at 11:18 am
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Yep, just spoke with the owner Paul and he is arrogant and rude, and trying to have a civil conversation with him on the phone about what he will and will not buy is difficult. He was snotty enough to tell me I have nothing he did not know what i had. Creeps like this are why i'm glad Indigo is here. I've been shopping at Eliots for 20 years and am very glad i have not run into him before, only the sweet large man who usually mans the cash register. Sheesh.
Thomas / August 31, 2013 at 10:53 am
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Most of the angry comments revolve around them not getting the price they want when SELLING books. These people are idiots expecting fistfuls of cash. Its the best book store in the city bar-none and worth the drive from anywhere. See for yourself, and if you are not happy there are 20 other bookstores in the city within 10 mins so no trip is wasted. The staff (while everyone has off days) is great and super helpful. If you have an issue, its usually because you are one of those "entitled" A-hole customers.
Erik / October 4, 2013 at 05:46 pm
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To each their own, I suppose. I love this bookstore for its collection, prices, and variety. If I want outstanding customer service, I go to a fine-dining restaurant; if I want to add unique finds to my library at affordable prices, I go to Eliot's. Simple as that.
Anon / March 13, 2014 at 12:14 am
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Thomas: Actually, most of the angry comments seem to be about a-hole employees and even possibly an a-hole (and unknowledgeable) owner. Also, if I were selling something rare dating back to the 1750s, I'd be wary of getting ripped off, too. Maybe you wouldn't. Only Nexus 6's comment seems to suggest that the prices are too high. I suggest you read the comments again.

Erik: By your logic, if I got my meal and it was adequate at worst, regardless of price, I should be satisfied, even if the customer service was crap.

Or, if that doesn't fly, one need not even go to stores physically anymore. Just order your stuff online (I have had no trouble from online sellers so far). Guess what? I am not required to talk to the people who sell the books. Navigating my own way at my own pace and finding bargains seems better than potential run-ins with a-holes.

True, I guess some of us don't care about how others treat us, as long as the end result is a well-priced book. But by that token, there are others (as this comments section implies) that obviously do. It's actually kind of sad, considering that it takes little to no effort to be courteous (or even act it). Instead, a bookstore loses potential future customers, and potential future customers miss out on potential bargains and books.
Anon replying to a comment from Anon / March 13, 2014 at 12:17 am
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I should have added:

"Only Nexus 6's comment seems to suggest that the prices are too high..."

... for the buyer. And his complaint is directed specifically at "scholarly books". So yeah, Thomas, read the comments again.
Anon Too / May 13, 2014 at 02:25 pm
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I'm kind of surprised by the comments here. I've been shopping at Eliot's for years and the staff have always been polite and helpful. The selection is huge, and even if I can't find what I went in looking for, I'm likely to make a happy discovery. I'd recommend them to anyone looking for a quality used bookstore.
Grossed Out! / June 3, 2014 at 09:35 am
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Went there ONCE, picked up some Maugham. I left feeling like I needed a shower (violated).

That nasty old coot and his friend? Not nice. Perverts!

For those of you who can tolerate the behavior, the prices aren't incredibly horrible, but they are higher than other used book stores. I've always found what I needed in other stores nearby (also in good shape).
Steve / August 5, 2014 at 01:20 am
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I'm a Canadian from London,Ontario residing in China.

My good friend is a Professor in the Arts here at a local university.

He asked if I could help him with finding some books on Chinese Art History.
As with most educational institutions,they're on a strict budget.

I've compiled a short list of books he's looking for.
I'd appreciate any assistance you can afford us.
June Gurvich / September 2, 2014 at 11:01 am
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Please do you have a copy of:

Constance Beresford-Howes: The Book of Eve





thank you - if you do I'll come right on over to your store.
June Gurvich replying to a comment from June Gurvich / September 2, 2014 at 11:02 am
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Please do you have a copy of THE BOOK OF EVE

By Constance Beresford-Howe?
? / September 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm
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I don't understand why there are so many and unnecessary negative comments up there. I simply adore this place and especially the French book section. It is so hard to find in Toronto second-hand French novels. Eliot's Bookshop has good, substantial French classics which I appreciate most. The owner was always helpful and kind. I admit that the price is a bit higher than other used book stores, but I don't know... at least I do not really care that much since I always find what I want to find there ;-)

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