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Packed bookstore opens on Second Ave in Squamish

The name Book Mountain certainly fits, as the owner estimates there are at least 10,000 books in store with more on the way.

The name of a new bookstore in downtown Squamish can be taken quite literally.

Just inside the front door of Book Mountain, thousands of books tower from the floor to ceiling. Plop into a comfy leather chair at the latest bookstore on Second Avenue, and on a clear day, the Stawamus Chief stares back at you from out the window. And like any mountain, there’s buried treasure behind every nook and cranny you explore.

The owner of the bookstore, Drew Clarke, estimates there are at least 10,000 to 15,000 books inside the store, about half of his 25,000 total. Alongside the new and used books, Clarke can order books for specific needs, plus there are records and gift cards available too.

Having opened in early March, Clarke says he’s slowly, but surely, cataloguing everything. While still a work in progress, he’s already felt a sincere welcome from the Squamish community.

“It's so heartwarming, and it's so nice to feel welcome in the town,” he said. “People are still just showering me in love and gratitude and thanks. It's really beautiful.”

This isn’t Clarke’s first foray into working at a bookstore. He listed a number of bookstores he worked at previously, including Vancouver’s Albion Books, where he purchased a large portion of his collection after its owner retired.

But, this is Clarke’s first time as owner of a bookstore. As for why he wanted to open the bookstore, he simply said he wanted to add to what was available in Squamish and had a hunch it would be well-received.

“I want to be a part of the ecosystem of the other three bookstores here because I think there's a place for all of us to exist together,” he said.

And judging by the many people who tried to open the door when The Squamish Chief sat down with Clarke, it certainly seems that it’s already well-received. Clarke said it brought him joy to watch people take notice of the store through the big window out front with a large book display, describing passersby who almost needed to enter.

“It’s like zombies trying to get in to get their brains,” he said with a laugh. “It's just immediately, ‘Books. Must go to books.’”

Later on in the year, potentially in the fall or winter, Clarke hopes to start hosting a few community events that will pull in different appetites, such as book clubs or poetry readings. Other ideas included more casual gatherings, where folks can simply share similar interests.

“You know, have a jazz night with wine and cheese, and just people can mill about and just be here and play records. And then have a blues night with beers and shots of whiskey,” he said. “So, I'm looking forward to getting creative with the space both with the events and visually as well.”

For now, Clarke said he’s mostly enjoying getting to know everyone.

“There's this really healthy, rich culture of artists and musicians and writers that are coming out of the woodwork and coming here. … I've met more people in the last three weeks than I've met in the last three months,” he said. “Just meeting so many cool, like-minded people … I’m living the dream, man.”

Check out Book Mountain on Second Avenue, open every day except Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or visit

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