Simone Lee’s love of literature finds a place for an independent bookstore

After graduating during a recession in 1993, now-independent bookstore owner Simone Lee knew she had to find some kind of gainful employment.

While working in publishing in Ontario, she heard about the opening of Pages bookstore in Calgary. When she moved back to the city, she stopped in at the Kensington store.

Bookshelves line the walls at Pages on Kensington. The store supports local authors, and some of these books are written by Canadian authors and authors living in Calgary.

Photo by Kristine SaretskyAfter the owner of the store, Cathy MacKay, died in 2003, Lee decided to take the steps to become one of the owners of Pages.

She faced challenges keeping the bookstore alive as other retailers in the area were forced to shut down due to high rental costs in the area. Lee said that she used her extensive background of hosting events to help bring people to Pages and create an interest in local books and local authors.

Years later, Lee said she thinks that Pages is a hub for the literary community and that she would like to see it remain a staple for that community in the future.

“I would like to continue activities with authors and introducing them to people who I know will just love them.”

ksare021@mtroyal.ca