C/O @pickwickbooks

Discover a new favourite book with Pickwick Books’ new book boxes

I’ll admit I love Chapters as much as the next person, but it’s also crucial to support local booksellers and used book stores during a time where all local businesses have been disproportionately affected by provincial guidelines and restrictions due to COVID-19. Buying used books is also a more sustainable and cost-effective way of shopping on a student budget. Furthermore, buying locally is a way to give back to the Hamilton community. Located in Waterdown, Pickwick Books’ new book box service makes buying used easier than ever. 

Pickwick Books first opened in Waterdown in 1995, though Cheryl Kaufman became the owner of Pickwick’s after the building caught her eye on a drive through Waterdown in 2016. She bought the store when its previous owners were looking to move on from the business and since then, she has run the small used bookstore carrying over 30,000 titles of every genre. 

C/O Cheryl Kaufman

Pickwick Books’ newest feature, used book boxes, came about in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Book boxes are a trend initiated by larger companies including Book of the Month and Raven Reads, now carried on by Pickwick’s for a more sustainable and local take on the trend. 

“Being a used bookstore, I just never knew what my inventory was — it was constantly changing. When COVID hit, we had to close down and I was trying to think of online options for people. I thought the best way to do it was to do book boxes where they can choose genres, but then I choose the books for them,” said Kaufman. 

The book boxes come in three sizes: two, four or six books in a mix of paperback and hardcover at a discounted rate. Regardless of where you are located within Canada, the boxes ship on a one-time or recurring basis so you can support the local business from a distance.  

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Though the boxes are curated with a selection of high-quality used books, they can also be personalized to specific genres and preferences. 

“[Choosing the books] is the most fun for me. If someone says ‘surprise me’, I try and choose at least a variety of genres. If they tell me they like certain authors, I always select authors that are similar. I select books that I've enjoyed and that I know my customers have recommended. The fun part for me is going through the shop and pulling all the different varieties out for people,” said Kaufman. 

“[Choosing the books] is the most fun for me. If someone says ‘surprise me’, I try and choose at least a variety of genres. If they tell me they like certain authors, I always select authors that are similar. I select books that I've enjoyed and that I know my customers have recommended. The fun part for me is going through the shop and pulling all the different varieties out for people.”

Cheryl Kaufman, Owner of Pickwick Books

Though they come as a bit of a mystery, the curated titles are a way to step out of your reading comfort zone with books of every genre and style.  

“It's a nice surprise as you try new authors and even try new genres that you wouldn't normally try,” said Kaufman. 

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Buying used books not only supports the local business, but is also a more sustainable way to shop for books. Book manufacturing is an environmentally taxing process through production of pulp and paper. Old books often tend to be thrown out or recycled rather than reused and passed on for more readers to enjoy, making buying used a great option for extending the life cycle of a book. 

On a student budget, stocking your shelves through Pickwick Books is an affordable, sustainable option for finding your new favourite reads. With a unique, custom-curated selection of books in every box, dare to try something new while supporting local.

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