James Bay Coffee & Books

My father taught me that in every city, a used bookstore is waiting to be explored!

Traveling to Victoria, British Columbia a few weeks ago, I was delighted to discover James Bay Coffee and Books located at 143 Menzies Street. I invite you to visit this remarkable treasure house of books with me!


A town isn’t a town without a bookstore

Neil Gaiman



Please buy books! They contain centuries of practical knowledge, wise insights and slowly absorbed pleasures. They will remain an easily accessible technology, not easily deleted or altered by the latest powers that be. 

James Bay Coffee & Books

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

58 thoughts on “James Bay Coffee & Books

  1. This looks like a great bookstore, Rebecca. I love bookstores and one of the things I noticed and loved about Auckland, New Zealand was the used book stores at the ferry docks everywhere we went. I must write a post about some of my collectors item books.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What gives me great comfort is that we have independent books stores all over the world. I had to find more about the used books stores at the ferry docks in New Auckland, so went on an internet search to find more information. What I love most about used bookstores is that there is a thrill of uncovering something amazing. Did you notice the book “Come Hither, A Family Treasury of Best-Loved Rhymes and Poems for Children” by Walter de la Mare – Classic 1923 Edition? What a find!! I look forward to your posts on your collectors item books!!!

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      1. Hi Rebecca, this book store certainly is a great find. I always find amazing books in used book stores. I will put together a post about some of my ‘favourite’ finds. A few are out of print and had to be hunted down.

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  2. I love used bookstores and just wanted to step through the computer screen and into that bookstore. I recall visiting the Isle of Wight a few years ago and spying a used bookstore at the end of a small alleyway in Cowes. Of course, my feet took me down the path and into the store with piles of books everywhere. I took it all in, the musty smell of old paper, the large cat sleeping on the desk in the middle of the room and the elderly man with Einstein hair bent over a book. My eyes scanned the shelves thinking how does anyone find anything in these stores. (It was not all laid out neat and tidy like the James bay Bookstore) And there in the midst of all the confusion was a book I had been looking for for 5 years! Yes, used bookstores are magical.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. How I would have loved to visit that bookstore on the end of a small alleyway in Cowes with you, Darlene. What a wonderful memory for you. Used bookstores have always been a place of mystery for me. How did the books come to find their way into their shelves? Once they are published, books seem to take on a life of their own, traveling between readers, leaving their stories with one reader before going on to next. Cats seem to be part of the book scene. I once read that the association of cats with libraries started in the Middle Ages until present day. Independent bookstores seem to be where cats like to be. Have you ever considered that cats may be a more advanced species than humans? Just a thought. They understand English and other languages, but I still haven’t been able to master “Meow” language.

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      1. I so agree, a book has a life of its own. As Carlos Ruiz Zafón states in The Shadow of the Wind, “Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”
        Cats and bookstores are like peanut butter and jam. They just belong together. I included that cat and bookstore in Amanda in England: The Missing Novel.

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  3. While we have a wonderful indie book shop, we have no second hand bookstore. However, we do have charity shops, and one in particular, Oxfam, is pretty good on books. I bet you enjoyed poking around in this particular shop.

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    1. I had a wonderful time meandering throughout rooms filled from floor to ceiling with books, Margaret. I am delighted that you joined me virtually. Thrift stores are some of the best places to find used books. One of my father’s favourite pastimes was visited our local thrift store. There was always an influx of new books. He always found a book to bring home.

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    2. Here in Spain, I have found some great books at charity shops. And usually inexpensive. Books are meant to be read and not left languishing on bookshelves at home collecting dust. And if the money goes to animal shelters and homecare for the sick and elderly, all the better.

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      1. Amen!!! Used books are a testament that we continue to read, to exchange knowledge, to thrive on stories. My dad loved the charity/thrift shops. It seems that they operate on the same idea as libraries. Did you know that Canadian libraries are increasingly scrapping late fees to boost access to services? Exciting.

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      2. Quite. But which part of Spain to you live in, that has charity shops? My daughter is in Catalunya, which seems to be a charity-shop-free-zone – though she knows one, and we found one last time in Sant Andreu.

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      3. Margaret 21, I live on the Costa Blanca, near Alicante, and there are tons of charity shops. Most support animal rescue centres and some elder and home care. They are run by volunteers. We also have book exchanges in our separate communities and even coffee shops have used books that you can pick up and leave a donation (to a charity.) There is no shortage of used books available to donate to or buy from. Perhaps because there is a large ex-pat community on the coast.

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  4. That’s a wonderful bookstore you showed us, Rebecca! One of the nicest-looking I’ve ever seen, and what a collection of titles! I’m lucky to live in a town with two independent bookstores — one of which sells all used books. The other store is a five-minute walk from my apartment.

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    1. I am delighted that you joined me in James Bay Coffee and Books. The coffee and bagel/cream cheese were delicious, but the books were the treasure. I thought of you as Don and I meandered through the rooms. When we were having coffee, the owner came in with three boxes full of books to add to the tables overflowing with books. What was amazing to me was that the bookshelves were organized and subjects were easily accessed. It was obvious that the community loved this independent book stores. You are indeed fortunate to have two independent bookstores in your town.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Marian! Independent bookstores are the heart of a community and must be supported. These bookstores place a crucial role in featuring new and local authors. There is a sense of community when I enter the doors of a bookstore.

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  5. A town, city, or even a village must have a book store, without a doubt! I loved visiting the bookshops in Tehran, where we had plenty of them those days, watching the old covers, sniffing the aroma, and buying as much as our purse allowed! Your “James Bay Caffee and Books looks brilliant, dear Rebecca. Thank you.

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    1. Those are precious memories of visiting bookshops in Tehran , Alaedin. I agree – books produce a wonderful smell, which I have come to think is “the smell of knowledge”. Every town, city we traveled, my father looked for the bookstore. When I buy a used book, I think of all those who have had the pleasure of reading it before me.

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  6. We have, not far from home, a bookstore similar to the one you’ve highlighted, Rebecca.
    Now, I am not a bibliophile like you, however, my man K is.
    I can just see you both now meandering through this store, or any bookstore, stopping, picking up titles that thrill, reading a passage or two, raising an eyebrow or squinting your eyes in thought. This one; no this one – which one (or two) will it be?

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    1. I laughed out loud when I read: “stopping, picking up titles that thrill, reading a passage or two, raising an eyebrow or squinting your eyes in thought”. That is exactly what I do. It IS the thrill of the chase. Will I find that book I was looking for or is there something even more exciting waiting for me to discover in a hidden nook behind the stack of books. K is indeed a kindred spirit. Sending many hugs back your way.

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  7. Our trip to Victoria was so enjoyable, included in the experience was our visit to the “James Bay Book Store, actually a delightful experience. I was amazed at the amount of books that filled quite a few rooms–so many book! ! Even the smell of the bookstore was “sweet” Your video is special, I do not think you missed any of the books. Your love for books comes very naturally from your father, He loved reading them and even looking at them. I am glad you have his love for books!

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    1. I remember how Dad loved his books. Every time we moved, his books came with us. I would love to come home from university to see how many more books had been added to his library, which he always said was “our library.” He was known be name at every bookstore, library and thrift store that offered books. Do you remember when the Vancouver library was moved to a new location a couple of decades ago? I recall that they invited everyone to participate in the move by taking 1 or 2 books from the old location to the new library. Dad and you were at that unforgettable event. Great memories!

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    1. I agree – they are a godsend. I have found used books that I thought I would never find and yet, I come across the at the more unexpected times. Serendipity seems to enjoy visiting used bookstores! LOL!

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    1. My dear friend, I am attempting to entice you to meet up with me in Victoria and walk the trails in Beacon Hill Park where Emily Carr painted. And there is a most excellent ghost walk that starts at 9pm…. There are many ghosts that want to tell their stories. But for now, I am glad that we can meet virtually for coffee at James Bay Coffee and Books.

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    1. Teagan – I am so glad that I’m not the only one playing catch-up. I wake up in the morning with great plans and if I accomplish 20% of those plans, I feel that I am making great progress. I usually post on this blog every Sunday night. I call it Sunday Evening Reflection, which prepares me for a new week of possibilities. What I love about blogging is that you don’t miss anything. The posts are there when you are! Sending hugs back on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you,Rebecca! What a neat looking place. Coffee & books go together, like tea & books. 😉🙄
    Buying books is a wonderful investment. Having books to sit amongst is a joy. Giving away a book when one is done with it, to someone who will love it, is like getting a gift.
    Wonderful post! {{hugs}}

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Resa for joining me at James Bay Coffee & Books! I agree giving away a book is a gift that keeps on giving, energized by all those who have read the story contained within its cover. It is as if a book has a life of its own. Sometimes it is hard to give up a book to another person, but stories must be sent out into the universe. Sending hugs and more hugs!

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