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Tailwind’s Bev has some gift ideas

Tailwind’s Bev has some gift ideas

nobile ch“A town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” So writes Neil Gaiman in his novel American Gods. One wonders if he’s ever been to Sechelt, fortunate enough to be home to Talewind Books, practically an institution in this town. Owner Bev Shaw has been independently operating Talewind for 29 years and has cultivated a loyal following of customers. She carries anything and everything, including a myriad of books by local authors. “We have to cover everything for everybody because it’s a small town,” says Shaw. “We try to do it all.” She’s got around 62,000 books available and if she doesn’t have it in the store, special orders can be brought in quickly.

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Bev Shaw, owner of Talewind Books in Sechelt, has some last-minute gift ideas. Anna Nobile photo

Despite all the doom and gloom talk of hard copy books becoming obsolete and bookstores going under, Shaw has maintained her customer base by giving her customers what they want: good books. “Quite a few Christmases ago nobody knew what to get anybody and everyone bought Kindles [a type of e-reader] and people hated them,” says Shaw. “There are people that like Kindles, but they’ve come and gone. People like the tactile, the book.” In addition to the usual poetry, fiction and non-fiction books, Shaw carries a variety of field books for the ‘shroomers and birders as well as a huge selection of kids books. “We sell lots of them year round,” says Shaw of the field guides on mushrooms, birds, trees and plants that grace her shelves. “And lots of kids books. It’s something you can do together. Sit down with a child and read.”

For those of you looking for last-minute gifts, Shaw recommends The Lost Gift by Vancouver-based author Kallie George and A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig, both for kids. For adults, Louise Penny’s novel A Great Reckoning is selling well with locals, but Shaw points out both Joseph Boyden and Richard Wagamese also have new novels available. For those who prefer non-fiction, Shaw draws attention to Yuval Noah Harari, whose book Sapiens, a survey of human history from homo sapiens to the present, is an international seller, while the sequel Homo Deus, examines what might happen now that humans are modifying genetics and developing artificial intelligence.

Is Talewind Books, as Gaiman suggests, what makes Sechelt a true town? “It’s a centre of information,” says Shaw simply. “And people like to have a place to browse and hang out.”

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