B.C.'s independent book business appears to be on solid ground more than two years after the pandemic devastated many other industries.
Today, the family-owned Black Bond Books announced that it will be buying another independent retailer, Hager Books, which is at 2176 West 41st Avenue.
The founder of Hager Books, Louise Hager, described this as a fabulous match because both have emphasized a community-focused approach to bookselling throughout their histories.
Management and staff will continue at the Hager Books location, according to a Black Bond Books news release.
"Ten years after we acquired the Book Warehouse on Broadway, Black Bond Books is excited to add Hager Books to its family of bookstores. I agree with founder Louise Hager, it is a perfect fit,” said Cathy Jesson, president of Black Bond Books.
Last April, the Straight covered the history of Black Bond Books in an article in advance of Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.
Jesson explained then that her mother launched Black Bond Books in 1963 in Brandon, Manitoba. The first B.C. store opened in White Rock in 1977.
In subsequent years as family members moved to the West Coast, more stores opened in the Fraser Valley.
A decade ago, when Book Warehouse owners Tom Banks and Sharman King decided it was time to retire, the Jesson family agreed to continue with their store on West Broadway. This Book Warehouse location has been managed by Jesson's daughter Caitlin, who's also director of operations and vice president of the company.
"Hager Books has been such an integral part of the Vancouver book scene," Caitlin Jesson said. "We're so thrilled to be continuing this legacy with the amazing team of booksellers you've all known and loved."
This fall, Black Bond Books will become the official bookseller for the Vancouver Writers Fest. For the past nine years, the company has also been the official on-site bookseller at the annual TED conference in Vancouver.
Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of Black Bond Books.