I have lived on Commercial Drive for twenty years, and I’ve been a member of the People’s Co-op Bookstore almost as long. Local bookstores, well-run, add depth, freshness and a certain intellectual frisson to any neighbourhood. The collectively operated People’s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial has done all that for decades.
Although I have been a member for a long time, work and life commitments have previously kept me from being involved in any way other than the occasional purchase. Now that I have more free time, I thought the least I could do was attend the store collective’s Annual General Meeting last night, and I was glad to find that about 30 other people had been willing to come out on a chilly evening to support the store.
Like many businesses, the last few years have been tough, but the bookstore — supported by a tiny staff and a core of dedicated volunteers, and specialising in social justice, environmental issues and local authors — has survived and there is hope for the future. The store has become a centre for book launches in Vancouver, they are active on Facebook and Twitter (@coopbooks), and have become involved in a number of outside events — good for PR and fund-raising, including Word On The Street tomorrow.
I’m glad I went to the meeting and hope to stay more involved. If you happen to be on the Drive anytime, stop in the bookstore and take a look around.