Bookstore Bucket List: Black Squirrel Books in Old Ottawa South.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

If you followed my blog for some time, you might have realized that I am obsessed with reading and books. Also, I am at my “happy” [What is happiness?] place when I enter a bookstore; especially independent ones. When I moved to Ottawa not too long ago, Petit Joel and I discovered our new neighborhood and I was delighted and in awe when I walked into Black Squirrel Books. What a gem of a bookstore. With my never ending list of books that I want to read, it comes in pretty handy to find so many second-hand editions while browsing through the shelves upon shelves of amazingness.  


The bookstore specializes in academic non-fiction, in buying and selling used books of merit but there are many different genres available. You will find books on History, Art, Biographies, Fiction, Sociology, Children’s books, Manga’s, Psychology, Philosophy and so much more. 

I love the unique and cozy setup by only somewhat separating the books and the café area. Comfortable arm seat reading chairs located close to the entrance/window area let you take advantage of reading close to a bookshelf (to simply grab another book) and people watch while sipping a cup of latte. This simplicity yet the pretty array of decorations found throughout the bookstore make it feel like I am at home and just give this comfortable feeling to stay here forever and never leave. 

The food menu is kept to just a couple of simple items which I prefer. [Try the latte and the little tarts that they warm up for you! – also the brownies!] Other than that you might enjoy an Espresso, a cup of Kushmi Tea, Iced Coffee or tea. 

Black Squirrel Books is an independent store, and prices reflect that. You will find first editions or signed copies of books significantly under the normal market price. So if you are in search of a screaming deal on books, you know where to go now. Also, you basically select your books of a seemingly sheer volume of used books. Oh, this awesome smell of used books [nerd talk]. You can easily lose yourself in all the books, which is basically exactly how I like to spend a day/rainy day/snowy day/every day. It is a great place to study and write as well. [I am actually sitting in the bookstore now while I am typing this and I was able to write two papers for University earlier!] 

Weather permitting, there is also a dollar cart outside the bookstore to pick up a great copy and browse even more. Being a somewhat regular here I have to say that it is very easy to approach the book-loving staff and get a great book recommendation or have a little philosophical chat. 

I am a fan of supporting local businesses, especially those who are about literature and education rather than buying my beloved books in “big-name bookstores” or online. I love that, these little independent bookstores are just very personal and not commercial. 

Basically, this is just my idea of the perfect sanctuary – tons of cheap books in a comfortable environment. Enjoy some more pictures if you would like. 

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Opening Hours

Monday – Friday: 8 am -9 pm

Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm

Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm

1037 Bank Street,  K1S 3W9

Call (613) 422-9050

Happy reading, everyone! Stay connected with Squirrel Bookstore on their Facebook Page. Check out the homepage here. Do you know of any other independent bookstores in the Ottawa area that you can recommend? I would love to hear from you. 

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