Visit Two of Niagara, Ontario’s Great Used Book Stores & Help Keep Great Stores Like Them Alive

 – Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books & The Write Bookshop in St. Catharines –

Both Stores Are Bursting With Books, Now on Sale for 50 Per Cent Off for the Whole Month of March

A call of support for some of the Best Independent Stores in our Greater Niagara Region by Doug Draper

Posted March 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack –  from Street Haunting, a book of essays by Virginia Woolf

Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books on 71 Queen Street in St. Catharines near Lake Street and Montebello Park

In an age when online shopping threatens the survival of brick and mortar stores, I hope the day never comes when we are sorry that they are all gone.

Call me out of step with the brave new world of eBay and Amazon, if you like, but I think our towns and cities would be pretty deadening places to live in if there were no more brick and mortar stores.

And that would be especially true, in my view, if we lost every last independent book and record store, where a person can go and experience a real sense of community with others who share their passion for good books and music.

In that spirit, I am going to make a habit on Niagara At Large of devoting a little more space to drawing attention to and encouraging all of us to support what are left of the independent book and music stores on both sides of the border in our Niagara and Erie county regions, lest we lose these great places.

The Write Bookshop on 285 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines

So I begin with two of the very best used book stores in all of Niagara, Ontario, and they are both having store-wide 50 per cent off sales all this month, right through to end of Saturday, March 30th.

Those stores are located in the heart of St. Catharines and they are the iconic Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books store on 71 Queen Street (near Ontario Street and just off Lake Street near Montebello Park) in the city and The Write Bookshop on 285 St. Paul Street right in the heart of St. Catharines’ downtown (between Academy and Carlisle Streets).

If you love books, it won’t take too many minutes in either one of these stores to find at least one or two titles you can’t leave behind.

Some of the many stuffed shelves in the Hannelore Headley store

Both stores have two storeys with shelves stuffed full with many of the best books written over the past 100 or more years.

To a visitor – at least to this one – there is an organized chaos about both stores that makes them even more interesting to go on a search through the shelves and piles for at least one special book you might not know, until you find it, that you need to take home.

And if you are having a hard time finding a book you are looking for or are wondering if it might be there, just ask any one of the people who run these stores. If it’s there, they have a remarkable ability, in all of the countless thousands of books around them, to find it.

These two great book stores, along with the nice people you meet in them, stand in stark contrast to the soulless experience of shopping online.

Support them by visiting them this March for their half price sales, and continue to support them the rest of the year by continuing to buy good books there and encouraging your friends to do the same.

Inside The Write Bookshop. Happy hunting.

In case you are wondering, I am not receiving a penny in ad dollars money to give these stores a little boost here. The only compensation in this for me is seeing wonderful places like this survive in an age of faceless and gargantuan online peddlers.

So look forward to more posts like this about some of the very good independent stores in our region that sell books and music and other interesting things – all posted in the hope of keeping the sense of community these places contribute to alive.

If you have some nice stores like this that you would like people to know about, share a little information about them below.

For more on Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books, click on ,

For more on The Write Bookshop, click on – .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


3 responses to “Visit Two of Niagara, Ontario’s Great Used Book Stores & Help Keep Great Stores Like Them Alive

  1. You might want to read,Blond China Doll, Hannelore Headley’s family story after leaving Germany just before the holocaust. They went to Shanghia where Hannelore Headley lived her childhood before coming to Canada. Shamefully most nations rejected Jewish refugees at the time. Lots of enjoyable anecdotes (in the book).


  2. Gail Benjafield

    They are indeed local treasures, Doug. One of the best things one can do is ask both books stores to put out a request for an older book. They have a network, and can usually find it for you, at a reasonable price, too. I am so old that I actually not just only bought from Hanna when she was alive, but also sold books to her. The St. Catharines Heritage Committee erected a plaque to Hanna in the little park at the corner of Lake and Queen, just two doors down from the shop. As most people know, the Write bookshop is run by Hanna’s brother Stephen.


  3. Gail Benjafield

    It is great to read about some positive things in NAL. These two bookstores are a treasure. You can call them and ask to find a specific title and they will, at a reasonable price too.


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