The book closes on ‘a golden age’: Antiquarian bookseller Steven Temple on shuttering his shop

National Post | Arts

Steven Temple, who has spent the past 40 years amassing a library’s worth of used and rare books, now faces the daunting task of divesting himself of a life’s work. As one of Toronto’s last remaining antiquarian booksellers, tens of thousands of dusty volumes — there were upwards of 35,000 in his store at the start of December — are crammed into his shop on the second-floor of a drab three-storey building on Queen Street West, just past Spadina. He’s closing the store next month. Everything — well, almost everything — must go. He’s just not sure it’s possible.

“I wake up every morning in terror, thinking, ‘How am I going to do this?” he says, surveying the crowded floor-to-ceiling shelves. There are religious tracts and travelogues, histories and thrillers, poetry collections and plays, and an entire shelf devoted to books about books. “I’m happy to see a lot of…

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