If you’re the type of person to read a blog about books and bookstores, you’ve probably already heard of Type Books. The Joy of Books, the stop motion film by the fine people at Type, was a book-world viral smash a couple of years ago. What you may not know about Type is that their Queen Street location is the closest book store to my house, making them the most important bookstore in North America.
Type on Queen (I have not been to their Spadina location) is the ideal size of bookstore in that it allows for enough variety that you will stumble upon unexpected treasures, but it is not so vast that it is cluttered with junky books. The whole store is like a “Staff Recommendations” section, where all the staff are cool and well-read.
I was at Type this past Saturday, sadly not buying books for myself, but picking up a gift for a children’s birthday party for which I was already very late. I rushed in, picked up a few books and a wooden giraffe and rushed to the cash register, asking the cashier and her plucky sidekick if they sold anything I might MacGyver into gift wrap in the car.
No need, I was assured. Type Books gift wraps, though my wooden giraffe might be a problem. As the cashier rang up my purchases, her sidekick went on a hunt for gift bags that involved moving a very large bookcase. We were creating a bit of a scene. We decided to tie the giraffe to the gift-wrapped books with ribbon.
Five minutes later, for a total of about $40, I had five children’s books in a brown paper package, secured with baby blue ribbon and crowned by a wooden giraffe. I thanked them profusely and was assured by the cashier that it was no problem.
“We’re always here for you at Type Books,” she said.
“Not so,” countered her plucky sidekick. “We’re only here for you until 7:00 pm.”
Type Books, ladies and gentlemen; the most important bookstore in North America.