Kensington is one of the best spots in the city to find original businesses to explore. However, the place that stands out to me the most is Pages, an independent bookstore. 

As an avid reader, I’m always on the hunt for books that pique my interest. Usually I look for them in the most common of places like the mall, so when I found a bookstore that fell outside of the usual chains, I was intrigued. 

I found Pages while I was waiting for a friend to arrive in the area right beside the Plaza Theatre in Kensington Road N.W. 

The stairwell of the bookstore that showcases the first and second floor PHOTO: Catalina Berguno

I was roaming around the streets when I found the small store. The homey interior with its unique design drew me in. Everything about the cozy aesthetic – from the maroon stairwell carpet to the warm LED lights – gives the impression of a homey atmosphere with a touch of historical reminiscence with its vintage-looking decor. Some objects catered to readers were scattered around the store, specifically on the top floor, with a couple of typewriters with a “do not touch” sign situated around piles worth of books. 

We all have them. Places in the city that bring us joy, big and small. In an era of chaos, Calgary Journal editors are taking time this year to reflect on the public spots that bring us happiness and peace.
You can read the whole series here.

This is where I stop to read. Sometimes I indulge in buying some of their products, but most of the time I spend it flipping pages of novels. The downstairs area is where I search for the fantasy novels, which are usually stacked in the right corner of the store. The second floor is where the manga section is located, which I tend to read every once in a while. 

On the days where I have more time, I’ll stand right in front of a shelf for about an hour as I debate with myself whether I should buy the book or not. I’d tell myself I have enough books at home, that I don’t have the time to as much these days. But eventually, I’d find myself even sitting down in one of the corner shelves, only to abruptly stand up in embarrassment when I’d see an employee walking by. 

The second floor of Pages Books on Kensington  PHOTO: Catalina Berguno

By the end of the day, when I know I’ve overstayed my welcome, I’d end up reading the synopsis of the book over and over again and put the book down and leave – only to go back to the store again to buy it – and the whole series as well. 

It’s a bad habit of mine, but not one that will change anytime soon.

Report an Error or Typo

Catalina is a Journalism and Digital Media student at Mount Royal University.