The other day after my dentist appointment, I had a few moments to spare. Right next to my dentist’s office I noticed Page Turners Bookshop, and being the book lover that I am, I thought it would be a good idea to stop in. I’m glad I did. The first thing that caught my attention was how clean and bright the little space was, complete with a little sitting area and a spot for kids to play. I ordered a cup of tea from the friendly lady at the till, and we struck up a conversation. It didn’t take long to recognize the excitement and passion that Sarah Chestnutt has for her little shop. She chatted with me about the labour of love it was to collect all the books, renovate the space, and open the shop late last summer. She described it as a dream come true for a girl who has always loved books.
“One of the greatest rewards is getting to talk to people about the books they love,” Chestnutt said. “Helping people get introduced to new stories, finding forgotten favourites on the shelves — I love connecting with people when they come in.” She does admit that it’s challenging being one of the newer kids on the block as far as local bookstores go, and is frequently trying to find ways to connect with Edmonton book lovers to raise the profile of the shop.
Page Turners carries a wide variety of good-quality used books. I noticed while going through them that many were in excellent condition. Genres available include romance, mystery, religion, fantasy, best-selling fiction, Canadian authors, home and garden, classics and more. There’s also a nice selection of children’s books, for younger readers as well as books geared towards teenagers. With Page Turners being located on the south side, near schools and a daycare, this section is well-visited.
“I do get a lot of families coming by for the kids and young readers sections,” Chestnutt said. “It’s a great community for families and that certainly is reflected in who drops by.”
She also said she has quite a few seniors drop in during the day, often picking up a coffee before browsing the shelves. For myself, I picked up a copy of A Boy of Good Breeding, by Manitoba author Miriam Toews, which I enjoyed reading on a recent flight to Phoenix. In general, I found prices were fair for the quality of the books I was looking at.
You can also find a few other goodies in the shop, like bookmarks, jewelry, photography and greeting cards. In addition, Page Turners features work by local artists and photographers, so you can peruse the art hanging on the walls between browsing titles on the shelves. They also do some neat little events and incentives, like “Blind Date With A Book,” wherein a number of books from different genres are covered with blank paper so you can’t see their titles, with some keywords written on the front so you have an idea what you’re getting into. At $5 or less, each “blind date” is a fun way to surprise yourself with a new read. The next time you’re in the market for a great little local bookstore, give Page Turners a try. They’re located at 4015 106 St. You can also find them online, on Twitter and on Facebook.