Independent bookstore Duthie Books set to close

After 53 years in the business, independent bookstore Duthie Books (2239 West 4th Ave.) is closing its doors.

A press release issued this morning (January 19) states that competition from larger book retailers has made it too difficult for the store to compete price-wise.

The family business was founded in 1957 by Bill Duthie and is now operated by Cathy Duthie Legate, Celia Duthie, and David Duthie.

At its height, Duthie Books had eight locations on the Lower Mainland. It has been at its 4th Avenue location for 10 years.

In the Straight's annual Best of Vancouver survey, Duthie Books has been repeatedly ranked as the number one independent bookstore in Vancouver.

The store's final annual sale begins on January 28.

Follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter @charenton_.



What the...

Jan 19, 2010 at 4:18pm

Damn, not good for Vancouver. That's the canary in the coal mine. Slowing mom and pop get pushed out and the fat cats move in. Stop buying at big chain stores people, bad enough that we sent all our job off-shore. It's time to take care of our own.

Michael T

Jan 19, 2010 at 4:44pm

that sucks.

happening all over regretfully.


Jan 19, 2010 at 7:39pm

Vancouver is fast becoming a city of generic corporate retailers, big box stores and the usual designer fashion, home decor etc outlets. Granville Street downtown has been gutted of its character and turned into a weekend playground for drunken yahoos in the 19-25 age range, and the "fabled" Robson Street is basically an open air Metrotown.

There are still some streets where independent, locally owned businesses, bars and restaurants thrive...Commercial Drive, Denman Street, Main Street, West 4th Avenue and pockets of West Broadway, but even in these areas small businesses are being slowly squeezed out and replaced by corporate blandness.

Commercial Drive, for example, recently lost Magpie Books and "gained" a Tim Horton's and a Dairy Queen.

Hopefully people will wake up and support their local businesses and establishments rather than going for the cheapest, most hyped products on the market.

david g

Jan 20, 2010 at 12:27am

I`ll still refuse to spend even one penny at chapters/indigo/coles.

Charles D Carroll

Jan 20, 2010 at 7:03am

NOOOOO!!!! It's time to boycott Indigo/Chapters. Stop watching TV, listening to your iPod, purchasing e-books, etc. Do something good for your health--buy a real, honest-to-goodness book.


Jan 20, 2010 at 8:09am

that just leaves Hagar books in kerrisdale...


Jan 20, 2010 at 10:13am

A sign of the times. Ever more centralised control over information of all kinds in the hands of a tiny, sociopathic elite. A power and control mad elite who controls the curriculum in the schools, the books being sold, the media, the public spaces where posters used to be put, the performance and meeting venues, the search engines, the very internet itself. Massive organisations to collect and control all information on everyone and mine it for indications of non-compliant thoughts. Thought crimes. Suspension of habeas corpus. Revokable citizenship. No fly lists. Free speech zones. Full body x-ray scanners at airports. Microchips in our passports and ID. We are courting disaster if we don't figure out how to turn this situation around. Supporting independent bookstores is very, very critical. They are all but extinct.


Jan 20, 2010 at 11:01am

Unreal...I never buy from Chapters, etc...always from Duthie's and the used ones...And so SAD to hear of Magpie gone! I used to live on the Drive...and always shopped maddening. Tim Horton's and Dairy Queen on Commercial Drive, what a terrible replacement for a book store: "don't read and and eat and eat"...augh.


Jan 20, 2010 at 2:08pm

What an unfortunate sign of the times. I spent at lot of hours (and money) in the paperback cellar at the original Duthies on Robson, and remember the founder Bill Duthie was very much in charge, but always willing to chat with customers. He was aided by some long-term staff, like Binky, who you could not stump about an author or title, and the friendly and knowledgeable Celia, just out of her teens. Good times, and 'way more fun than Chapters or Amazon.

Jane Bouey

Jan 20, 2010 at 9:44pm

This is a devastating loss to Vancouver's cultural community. Please note that People's Co-op Bookstore is holding a fundraiser to celebrate it's 65th Anniversary. It is this Friday evening - the 22nd - at the Wise Hall. Let's not let another independent die.