sean brown bookstore

Toronto's newest bookstore won't let you go inside

Queen and Ossington has a new bookstore, but it's unlike most others. 

Instead of being an actual store where you can go inside, browse, and purchase books, you actually can't enter this one at all. 

Instead the store only sells one book, and to buy it you have to scan the barcode on the front window. 

The store was set up to sell Sean Brown's new book of photography, In No Particular Order, which is "a visual essay on the subjects of travel, research and design," according to Brown

Brown is "a multidisciplinary creative with a focus on photography and multi-dimensional design. His works, both personal and commercial, often recite themes surrounding accidental meaning: finding context through process, research, and exploration," according to his website. 

When asked why he chose to create an innovative bookstore of this kind, he said "The Hullmark space on Ossington isn't open to the public so when we activated, we wanted an eye catching installation, but also a way for poeple to access the book in real time."

The interior of the store appears to be entirely blue, with an installation inside mimicking the printing process. 

He said he chose blue because it has always felt like a colour of process to him. 

On the front window, next to the barcode, speech bubbles explain how it all works. 

According to Brown, the text in the speech bubbles is from real conversations he's had with Eric Lachance, who co-designed the space and book with him. 

Brown posted about the new store on his Instagram, in which he told shoppers to  "go at night when it glows, and plus it’s a better photo op."

The shop opened its doors on August 12  at 12 Ossington Avenue and will remain open indefinitely. 

Lead photo by

byseanbrown


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