The Book Man
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The Book Man consists of two secondhand bookstores in British Columbia, Canada. The original store at 45939 Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack measures over 5,000 square feet (460 m2), and is noted as the second-largest used bookstore in the province. Their second branch is located in Abbotsford at #5-2630 Bourquin Crescent West in the Little Oak Mall and is 1,600 square feet (150 m2). The stores are both named after the owner's father's nickname. The Book Man originated in 1963 and was acquired by David Short under the name Erna's Book Nook in 1990. After he changed the name to The Book Nook, Short expanded inventory and shelving until yet another move was required. His daughter Amber Short became co-owner and full-time manager in 2000 after many years of part-time work, and is now the sole owner after David passed the business down to her in August 2012. The Book Man employs a staff of fourteen as of 2012[update]. Their resident cat Nietzsche lives in Chilliwack and has gained international fame as a poster cat for bookstore cats. Gatsby, a grey and white cat, resides in their Abbotsford store. Both cats are known for greeting customers at the front door, and for their gentle and friendly dispositions. A program by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation referred to the Chilliwack branch of The Book Man as "the mirror image to City Lights".
The Book Man puts together community activities, such as story time within the store, storytelling circles, and musical events. They are known for bringing acts such as Immaculate Machine Klesmer accordion artist Geoff Berner and folk singer Raghu Lokanathan to play gigs in Downtown Chilliwack during their Book Man Concert Series. In-store events with celebrities such as dog psychologist and author Stanley Coren and author W. P. Kinsella draw crowds of fans for readings, book signings and question and answer sessions. Kinsella is a longtime customer. Other customers include Arthur Black, Kim Stanley Robinson, Canadian poet-author Dennis Lee, John Ralston Saul, Matt Hughes (writer), Simma Holt, Bill Blass (designer), politician Chuck Strahl and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Steven Point, Neil Gaiman, William Deverell, author Dana Stabenow, author Marianne Williamson, and author Clive Cussler.
The Book Man is involved with the Chilliwack Learning Community Society, a local community literacy initiative through giving financial support and serving on their Early Years Task Group and Social Marketing Committee. Co-Owner and manager Amber Short spearheaded a local television show through Shaw Cable and Early Years which has been running since 2011 focusing on literacy and community programs available to improve family literacy. The store also provides all of the books used in "book bins" throughout the community. Children's books are left in bins in hospital waiting rooms, laundromats, cafes, physicians' waiting rooms and other public places throughout the community. They have also joined forces with The Rotary Club of Chilliwack; students at a local high school hand-make small bookshelves which The Book Man then fills with free books. The Rotary Club has volunteers which place and maintain these shelves in businesses, staff rooms and waiting rooms around town.
They are a key supporter of Rosedale Elementary's Reading Mastery program, an award-winning reading program that has won the school performance awards for literacy accomplishments. A yearly contest invites students, faculty or members of the community to write short essays explaining why books are important to their school. Run through a local newspaper, The Chilliwack Times, the winner of the contest wins 1000 free children's books for their school. These books are either used in the library, in classrooms, or as incentives for good grades and literacy programs according to the school's discretion.
- Store owner Amber Short was nominated for The Legacy Award by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce - winner to be accounced in January, 2014[dated info]
- Nominated for Retail Excellence by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce - winner to be announced in January 2014[dated info]
- Best New Business in Abbotsford – awarded by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack – awarded in the Best of Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Progress
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Reader's Choice awards in local newspaper The Chilliwack Times
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Best of Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Progress.
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Reader's Choice awards in local newspaper The Chilliwack Times.
- Nominated for Best New Business in Abbotsford in the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards
- Store owner Amber Short was featured as one of the Forty Most Influential People Under 40 by local paper The Chilliwack Progress.
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Best Of Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Progress
- Best Bookstore - awarded by The Agassiz Observer
- Plaque given recognizing fundraising efforts for Safe Haven Animal Shelter in 2011
- Retail Excellence – awarded by the local Chamber of Commerce.
- Best Bookstore in Chilliwack – awarded in the Best Of Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Progress
- Favourite Bookstore in Chilliwack – awarded in the Reader's Choice Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Times
- Nietzsche the bookstore cat gains recognition as the Poster Cat for Advanced Book Exchange's bookcat competition.
- Community Environmental Hero award - Awarded by Livesmart BC, an environmental initiative
- Established Business of the Year, Small - awarded by the local Chamber of Commerce
- Green Excellence, Retail - awarded by the local Chamber of Commerce and City of Chilliwack
- First runner-up for BC BIA's Environmental Achievement award
- Favourite Used Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Reader's Choice Awards, The Chilliwack Times
- Community Champ award - awarded for involvement in local literacy initiatives.
- Favourite Used Bookstore in Chilliwack - awarded in the Reader's Choice Awards by local newspaper The Chilliwack Times
- Employer of the Year – awarded by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce for outstanding employment standards
- Established Business of the Year – awarded by the local Chamber of Commerce
- Official website
- Local articles written about The Book Man
- Picture Tour of The Book Man
- Review of The Book Man