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- It’s no secret that the last 40 years have seen the book industry grow and change in dramatic ways, and Bolen Books has grown and changed along with it. Since we first opened our doors in the winter of 1975, the store has moved through four different locations within Victoria’s Hillside Centre and grown by over 10,000 square feet, arriving at its current location - featuring an independent storefront and two mall entrances - in 1996. In 2013, a dramatic renovation saw our decor modernized leading up to our 4th decade of operations.
Now at almost 20,000 square feet, Bolen Books is the largest single-location independent bookstore in Western Canada. We are a general interest bookstore with large sections dedicated to kids books, science fiction, cooking, travel, fiction & mystery. On our shelves are an ever-changing assortment of over 30,000 titles by some of today’s biggest authors, as well as up-and-coming names, and self published authors from Canada and around the world. But our store doesn’t stop at the books! We also boast one of Victoria’s most popular selection of puzzles and board games. Our carefully selected non-book items come from local distributors, as well as national and international wholesalers, providing the best possible selection for our customers.
Bolen Books is pleased that locals have recognized our hard work and demand for excellence by regularly voting us the #1 bookstore in the city, and we are proud to have won Bookseller of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association twice.
Our author signings and readings are nationally known. Among the ranks of those who have visited our store include Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, comedy legend John Cleese, Geddy Lee of RUSH, literary superstar Michael Ondaatje, environmental activist David Suzuki, Jodi Picoult, David Sedaris, Farley Mowat, Margaret Atwood, Diana Gabaldon, John Kabat-Zinn, Edward Rutherfurd, Salman Rushdie, Emma Donoghue, Wayne Johnson, Preston Manning, John Vaillant, and literally hundreds of others.
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