Calgary bookstores continue to help flood victims

The Calgary bookstore Pages on Kensington is helping customers replace books they lost, while publishers have offered discounts to the store.

Andy Clark/Reuters
Calgary residents shovel debris after flooding in the area.

A bookstore in Calgary is helping residents replace books that were lost in the flooding experienced by the city this past June.

The bookstore Pages on Kensington, which did not suffer damage, started an initiative in June in which it offered to sell books to customers at cost. In addition, the store made accounts for customers who lost books in the flooding to allow others to make donations. Customers were able to e-mail the store with titles they lost for Pages staff to try to locate and the store did not charging for shipping.

The store set a deadline of July 9 originally, but extended it to July 31, according to the store's Twitter account.

“I extended the deadline because after spending two weeks with the emergency clean-up of my parents’ house I knew that people weren’t ready to sit down and think clearly about what they had lost, when they were still ripping out drywall,” Pages owner Simone Lee told the website Quill and Quire in mid-July.

Several publishers, including Anansi/Groundwood, Simon & Schuster, and others offered to help Pages on Kensington with the plan, selling books to the store at discounted prices. Some, like the University of Alberta Press and Coach House Books, gave the store free copies, while Penguin Random House Canada sold books at a 50 percent discount.

Other indie stores stepped forward to help bookstores affected in Calgary, including Galiano Island Books of Galiano Island and Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore of Toronto, which split its sales for one day with damaged Calgary bookstore Owl’s Nest. Owl’s Nest later announced it would be assisting bookstore Pixie Hollow Books, where the entire inventory was wiped out. Owl's Nest donated funds received from other bookstores as well half of their own earnings for one day to Pixie Hollow.

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