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Page-turning adventures: What are the best used bookstores in Ottawa? 

Page-turning adventures What are the best used bookstores in Ottawa

If you think old books are boring, you obviously haven’t been to the right used bookstore. Forget the predictable online shop algorithms and pristine shelves of big-box retailers. We’re talking about places where dust bunnies hold secrets and a bargain feels like a literary heist.

So, join us as we unleash your inner bookish adventurer – the stacks of stories, query characters (both fictional and behind the counter!), and delightful surprises await!

Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar 

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Location: 1073 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W9, Canada

Contact: +1 613-422-9050

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Think those dusty, mothball-scented used bookstores are all the same? Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar will shatter that image faster than you can say “page-turner”. 

This Ottawa gem started with two guys (Steven Yong and Vaughn MacDonald) who loved books and morphed into a bookstore-coffee-shop hangout spot. The scent of coffee practically smacks you in the face (in a good way), and then books everywhere (like, 90,000)! Here, you can just sink into a comfy chair, grab your caffeine fix, and get ready to disappear into a book.

But Black Squirrel is more than just a place to stock up on reading material. This place is thrown down with live music, poetry nights… even the occasional dance party. It’s become this buzzing spot for local artists to show their stuff, making it a total game-changer in the arts scene.

Book Bazaar

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Location: 417 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y6, Canada

Contact: +1 613-233-4380

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday – 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM


Book Bazaar is where your next literary adventure begins. This family-owned Ottawa gem has been around since 1974 – talk about staying power! Set foot inside and you’re greeted by two floors packed with over 55,000 titles whispering promises of escape and knowledge.

This place is also the largest independent bookstore in Ottawa. So, whether you’re obsessed with Canadiana, philosophy, science, or classic literature, their shelves promise to make your book nerd heart sing. 

So forget that dusty bookshop image, Book Bazaar promises to draw everyone from casual readers to serious literary figures. You might even lose yourself for hours and find those special books that become part of your own story.

Perfect Books 

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Location: 258 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L9, Canada

Contact: +1 613-231-6468

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday & Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Thursday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM


If the thrill of discovering hidden book treasures is your jam, then Perfect Books is your Ottawa destination. Think towering stacks filled with everything – your favourite bestsellers, quirky obscurities that make you go “huh?”, and an awesome selection that champions indigenous authors.

Get this – their prices are ridiculously good, so you can fill your reading nook without draining your wallet. Plus their loyalty program is next level: every $100 you spend earns you $10 in book-buying power (or you can donate it to help out local schools!).

Barely Bruised Books

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Location: 315 Rue Wilbrod St 2 upstairs, Ottawa, ON K1N 6M5, Canada

Contact: +1 613-981-7718

Opening hours:

  • Monday & Saturday – 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Thursday & Friday – 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM


Founded by the book-obsessed Scott Mackillop, Barely Bruised is your new wallet’s new BFF boasting over 85,000 titles. We’re talking about everything from rare, dusty finds to the latest bestsellers, all in both English and French. 

They’re even so committed to affordable prices, that they even do price matching with other stores (plus an extra 10% discount). And get this – they accept cryptocurrency, so if that’s your thing, you have extra ways to pay. 

On top of this, they go beyond your typical bookstore. It’s a full-blown cultural hub. Think open mic poetry nights that are the talk of the town, and “Mind Matters” evenings for those who love to delve into big philosophical questions.

Re-Read Used Books

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Location: 1626 Stittsville Main St, Stittsville, ON K2S 1A9, Canada

Contact: +1 613-580-2424 ext. 32626

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday & Saturday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM


This cozy shop is a treasure trove of pre-loved gems, with comfy armchairs to sink into and even a resident cat named Garfield (who might just bless you with his presence). They’ve got an amazing selection of everything from classic to heart-pounding mysteries. 

Craving something specific? Their online catalog is your best friend, play they offer curbside pickup, local delivery, and nationwide shipping. 

Beyond the books, they’re a haven for DVD, Blu-ray, board game and puzzle enthusiasts! So, whether you’re a voracious reader on a budget, a family game night fanatic (they host those too), or just looking for a chill spot to browse (with the possibility of a Garfield sighting), Re-Read has you covered.

Octopus Books

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Location: 116 Third Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S 2K1, Canada

Contact: +1 613-233-2589

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 10:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM


This Ottawa institution has been around since 1969, so they know a thing or two about curating a killer collection. Expect to see massive shelves packed with thought-provoking titles on social justice, and history, and an awesome selection of fiction and graphic novels. 

But here’s where it gets really interesting: Octopus Books is also a place where ideas squeal. Pre-pandemic, they were known for hosting many events – launches, readings, and workshops. So, if you’re itching for more than just a good read. Octopus Books is your jam.