Ever heard of an unusual bookshop? The Monkey’s Paw bookshop in Toronto is one rare bookshop selling some of the rarest and most absurd books globally. Some of the books and pieces of work present here are not the type anyone would stumble upon even once or twice in their life.
Moreover, by just stepping into this picturesque store, one will get the 18th-Century Victorian Bookshop vibe and get a chance to escape the reality of simply entering the Bloor street west shop located in downtown Toronto.
Interior of the Monkey’s Paw Bookstore
The interior design of this magnificent bookshop consists of;
• Checkered floors covered with red Turkish carpets,
• Shelves are seemingly decorated and lined with the most colorful aging books, beautiful, macabre, arcane, and absurd.
The only books one can find in this lovely bookshop are those published Before the 1980s. Moreover, most of the books explore topics on psychology, sexuality, and fashion during the olden days.
The Monkey’s Paw allows one to experience a mixture of weird and unique at the same time. Just perusing through the books gives one a different feel of the world’s evolution in writing, thoughts, and experiences.
Some Books from the Store
• Where Did We Come From, Mother Dear
• A Study of Bird Song
• Roller Disco Dancing
• Airline Safety is a Myth
• How to Photograph Women
• Ghosts in Photograph
Thus, even from the title of these books, one can already get what absurd, unusual, and rare means.
In addition, The Monkey Paw’s bookshop offers an ancient feel to eras when thoughts about specific subjects were different from the recent time. Also, the titles suggest that some of the topics were being explored for the first time as they came at the height of new inventions.
Furthermore, most of the books found in this store are not available on any online website or other ordinary bookstores. Thus, if you miss a specific book, the chances are that you might never come across it again.
It even gets better at the very back of the bookstore, where there is a turquoise-colored huge contraption. Fowler, the store owner, calls it the world’s first random book vending machine or otherwise known as The Biblio-Mat. This book vending machine spurts out any randomly selected old book with just a token of $4. Besides, when CTV News Toronto visited The Monkey Paw’s bookshop and used the Biblio-Mat, it popped out a copy of the book titled “A Party of Baccarat” by Donn Byrne, published in the year 1930.
Hearing the machine fumble and clumsily spurt while ejecting a book into your hands brings happiness to its users. Fowler calls this machine a Labour of love as it was made for him by a friend.
Fowler does not sell the $4 books out of a vending machine to get rich, but he uses the machine to keep his customers and book lovers excited. He strives extra hard to ensure all books in the vending machine are those no one has ever heard of or seen before. Fowler adds that the books in his machine can be anything apart from those you recognize.
Nonetheless, Toronto is home to several rare and hidden treasures. Thanks to business owners like Fowler, the world can see and experience such unique treasures. During his 30 years in the book business, Fowler says he finds terrific and, at the same time, weird stuff every single day, yet each time he sees books he has never set his eyes on before. How cool is that!