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Harsh times for the Solidarity Co-op Bookstore: Tripping downwards

Tripping downwards

Dutil: Looking for a change of scene
Photo: Joseph Yarmush

Concordia's Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore finds itself in trouble

Chances are, if Concordia’s fledgling Solidarity Co-op Bookstore had migrated to a better location by this time last year, they wouldn’t be struggling to keep books on the shelves today, says bookseller Larissa Dutil. But by the time promises of a more accessible, high-traffic location were broken again, it was too late, leading to a deficit of over $20,000 and cries for help.

Despite the location – a concrete room below student pub Reggie’s that workers call "the ass of the university" – the student-run space has become an oasis for lovers of alternative literature and students looking to buy or sell used textbooks.

As the only store of its kind in Quebec’s English schools, and one of the very few independent anglo bookstores in Montreal, the CCSCB’s diverse collection of new and used books, on topics ranging from politics, history and culture to gender and sexuality, puts it in a unique position vis-à-vis other bookstores. Their not-for-profit pricing policy also means books, stationery and even smokes are sold for less than suggested retail prices. They can order "almost anything," and anyone can shop there. You just have to find the place.

While the search for a new space and sustainable funding continues, bookstore workers will be holding a series of benefit shows to raise funds and awareness. The first show takes place this Saturday, Sept. 10, in Reggie’s (Hall Building’s Mackay street entrance) at 9 p.m. The bookstore will remain open for the curious, but be warned: Partying and steep staircases don’t mix.

For more info, call 848-7395

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