Spartacus Books blames gentrification for closure of Downtown Eastside store

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      One of Vancouver’s beloved independent bookstores is on the move.

      On May 31, Spartacus Books will close its store at 684 East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside.

      According to Spartacus Books’ Facebook page, the nonprofit, volunteer-run bookstore plans to set up a new shop in the area of Commercial Drive and East 18th Avenue.

      Spartacus Books posted this week that it’s been “renovicted”:

      We have called the DTES home for over 40 years. This is very sad news for our whole collective and the many folks who use our space. Gentrification effects us all and those least responsible are effected the most.

      Follow our page to get updates about our situation. We will have statements, volunteer callouts and requests for support over the coming weeks. Please support your local radical book store and community space through this difficult transition.

      Established in 1973, Spartacus Books previously shut down for 18 months in 2004 and 2005 due to a fire.

      It stocks books, magazines, graphic novels, and academic journals on subjects as varied as anarchy, art, ecology, feminism, poetry, and queer studies.

      According to its website, Spartacus Books is the “go-to resource for anti-capitalist, political books not found in big-box bookstores”.


      We're now using Facebook for comments.


      this go-to resource for anti-capitalist books

      May 1, 2014 at 1:17pm

      well that's ironic, or not.

      Yup, the go-to resource for anti-capitalist books

      May 1, 2014 at 3:12pm

      Actually, Spartacus is one of the less ironic options out there. An "anti-capitalist store" is an oxymoron of sorts, but it is collectively managed, 100% volunteer run, and not for profit. It's not perfect, but nothing is without contradictions in this system.

      18th and Commercial...

      May 1, 2014 at 4:05pm very very quiet.

      I see "online" in your future


      May 1, 2014 at 6:09pm

      "Gentrification effects us all and those least responsible are effected the most."

      Wrong word use, bozos. "Affect" not "effect" These people sell books?

      Re: ron

      May 2, 2014 at 2:06am

      We sell all sorts of stuff, including a zine entitled "Fuck you, i'm dyslexic" <3


      May 2, 2014 at 7:55am

      Wouldn't that say Yuck Fou I'm dyslexic??

      an ally

      May 2, 2014 at 10:17am

      you might want to inspire the volunteers to learn about customer service/communication, and how to do their jobs effectively before you whine about the failure of your business (which still is a business, you buy and sell things with money, do you not?). i've been in many times and had the most bizarre encounters. called and asked for a specific book, been told by the person working that you did in fact have it in stock/they would hold it for me, and then gone to pick it up to have someone say, "uh, what book? i don't know."
      must be nice being a privileged anarchist with zero real work experience.


      May 2, 2014 at 11:19am

      One can say a lot of negative things about them and certainly as a former customer (no...not boycotting, just don't buy books/mags anymore) could come up with a few.
      But they have maintained off and on free phone access for the community whereas many many very well-heeled 'social' agencies down in the DES simply don't wor won't provide this most basic service.
      Moreover, Spartacus Books as being a part of the community have consistently seen the the issues down here, whether you agree or not, with some level of complexity.
      Typically most of the 'poverty pimps' seem to think and act as if the ONLY problem on the DES is FAMINE. Middle Class white people seem to think that the DES is the Sudan and almost treat the whole thing as if it was a refugee camp with absolutely nothing to offer than stale bread and energy bars.


      May 2, 2014 at 11:54am

      It's probably that anti-capitalist, political books are just boring. Most likely they don't realize that we live in a capitalist society and it seems most Vancouver residents have no problem with that.

      an ally

      May 2, 2014 at 1:24pm

      cuz: you are living in an off-base dream world, must be nice to be one of the greedy fat cats of society. too bad about your pea-sized brain.

      HellSlayerAndy: you are totally on point. i agree 100%. PREACH.

      spartacus, don't let the dumb-dumbs get you down. you're not perfect, but you could be. we all need work. i believe in you.