Indie Bookstores Across Montreal

Word of mouth.

Librairie Résonance

In the age of online shopping, an impressive number of bricks-and-mortar bookstores have cropped up across Montreal, offering unique reads, one-of-a-kind designs, and personalized service. While some shops cater to niche genres, others offer a broader (but curated) selection of English reading material. And all reflect their respective communities, giving people an excuse to stop in and explore bookstores in the following neighbourhoods:



Verdun: Librairie Pulp Books & Café

“There’s a nostalgia for the neighbourhood bookstore that we collectively helped kill in the 2000s,” says Alex Nirenhausen, co-owner of Pulp with Daphnée Anctil. The two met while working at an indie bookstore in Saint-Henri, opening their own store in December 2023 in a former hair salon on Rue Wellington. The strip was named the “coolest street in the world” by Time Out in 2022, in large part due to its pedestrian-only transformation every summer.

Pulp’s subtly ’70s-infused space does double-duty as a café and has already cemented itself as a community hub with everything from children’s story hours to pop-up cake-decorating classes, plus of course book launches and author readings. Anctil admits the initial stock took a lot of guesswork, and they’re slowly adapting to the needs of the neighbourhood—easily done thanks to real-life feedback from regular customers. The closest they get to the almighty algorithm? A gumball machine offering random book recommendations, plus 10 per cent off the price of the book, for a loonie.





Old Montreal: Maktaba

Maktaba is a breath of fresh air on Saint-Paul West in Old Montreal, a stone’s throw from tourist spots and cultural venues like Notre-Dame Basilica and the Phi Centre. Artist couple Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman and Sundus Abdul Hadi opened the bookstore-boutique in 2022 as part of their creative and cultural agency We Are the Medium. It’s a low-key, jewel-box-sized space devoted to topics ranging from political analysis and magical realism to poetry and graphic novels, with an emphasis on the Middle East (maktaba means “bookstore” and “library” in Arabic). Find creative section names like Perspective Shift and Self-care = Community-care. There’s also a small carpeted corner for reading and quiet conversation, plus select vinyl (including Narcy’s own) and limited-edition merch.




Rosemont-Petit Patrie: Résonance

Whether you’re into Bob Marley or the Beatles, Kraftwerk or Kim Gordon, this delightfully niche shop caters to almost every kind of music lover. And they’re in no short supply in a city that hosts gatherings like Osheaga, Pop Montréal, and the Jazz Fest. Opened in 2021 on a stretch just south of Little Italy, the store is near some of the most lauded restaurants in town, like Mon Lapin and Pumpui, plus live music bars and record stores. There are close to 2,000 titles in stock, in French and English, and beyond themed book launches (like Martha Wainwright’s recent memoir), the space also functions as its own micro-sized musical venue.





Plateau-Mont-Royal: De Stiil Booksellers

Anyone who’s been on Duluth Avenue recently has noticed the revival of a once-buzzing street thanks to stylish anchors like Dispatch coffee and De Stiil books. Opened in 2020 by Aude Le Dubé, a clothing designer and author, the bright white space stocks a tastefully curated collection of culture-focused nonfiction and buzzworthy novels. The selection never feels limited, just effortlessly cool and browsable. Along with author talks, the shop hosts occasional writing classes, as well as reading hours every Wednesday evening. “People come with their books, and we take their phones away,” Le Dubé says. A perfect antidote to digital distraction.