‘It was meant to be:’ shop owner lives the book-lover’s dream

(And 5 more things you might not know about the Pitt Meadows favourite!)

To indulge a passion for books AND share that passion with others, Carmen Jones is living a dream come true.

Pitt Meadows’ Tomes & Tales first opened its doors in 2009 and over the years, Carmen – then a keen customer of the quality secondhand bookshop – would often browse the shelves for her next great read. With her latest finds in hand, she’d settle into a comfy chair on the bright patio with a fresh cup of tea and begin to read…

Fast-forward a few years, and Carmen was able to indulge many a book-lover’s dream: She bought the shop!

“It was meant to be,” says Carmen. With her children older and more independent, and the bookstore up for sale, “I jumped in wholeheartedly and I’m just loving it,” she says.

With glowing Facebook reviews and a 5-star rating, her customers seem to agree!

But here’s a few things you might NOT know about the neighbourhood bookshop, even if you’re a regular:

  1. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask! While Carmen estimates their total number of books at between 60,000 and 80,000, space constraints mean many are stored off-site. Carmen and her crew can also special order a book that’s not in stock.
  2. While the Tomes & Tales team are all book lovers, each has her own particular areas of specialty. For Carmen, it’s historical and young adult fiction, while AJ is a mystery fanatic who also brings extensive knowledge of spiritual subject matter, and Sue is knowledgeable about all adult fiction. Visit on Saturdays when Shelley staffs the counter, and learn everything there is to know about popular children’s titles. “No matter what your area of interest, we have someone who’s an expert!”
  3. It’s not all about the books. The colourful shop is also home to local and Canadian-made gifts, with more on the way, including jewellery, art, greeting cards, beautiful journals and delicious loose-leaf teas. Looking for a special gift? Ask about the locally handcrafted calligraphy pens!
  4. Visit the Spiritual Room, where you’ll not only find crystals and metaphysical supplies, but also an excellent selection of related books. Have questions? AJ is your go-to source.
  5. Tomes & Tales is one of five women-owned indie bookshops in the Lower Mainland collaborating on a variety of initiatives, including an “indie bookstore crawl” in the fall.

“People love how organized we are and the fact that you can find so much here,” Carmen says. “And if it’s not here, we can find it for you!”

Wheelchair and stroller accessible, and air-conditioned, find Tomes & Tales at 103 – 19141 Ford Rd. in Pitt Meadows or stop by online at tomesandtales.com

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