Pages’s storefront tonight; photos by Miles Storey/Torontoist.
The end of an era. It’s a cliché, an easy writer’s trick whose use far exceeds its real application. We stand by it in this case, however. After thirty years curating the indie set’s reading list and nurturing Toronto’s newest and freshest literary voices, Pages Books and Magazines will be shutting its doors for good in August. As reported in this week’s issue of NOW, and confirmed privately to Torontoist, in the end there simply wasn’t a choice. Rent is growing faster than sales, and for all that Pages is deeply loved (the Save Pages Books! Facebook group has upwards of 2,300 members), the cash crunch got to be too much.
There is, fortunately, the silveriest of silver linings, which is that Pages’s much-loved programming, run under the banner This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS), will continue. TINARS has been entrusted to a newly established non-profit, and will stay in the care of longtime coordinator Chris Reed. In an email to Torontoist tonight Reed struck a welcome optimistic note, saying simply, “Though I am saddened that the bookselling landscape has lost an inveterate indie voice, I am relieved that we, the Pages crew, can begin to make concrete plans. After a run of thirty years, it seems fair to say that there is a Pages ethos. And it will carry on in the form of This Is Not A Reading Series.”
It’s not nearly enough. We realize we may be accused of waxing romantic about our bookstores, but if ever there was a bookstore that had earned it, Pages was it.