Melissa (left) and Mai Tong have purchased the Fairfield Book Shop and will be turning it into a spa

Beloved Fairfield book store closings its doors

Walking into the Fairfield Book Shop on Cook Street, the smell of used books is a reminder of things gone by.

Walking into the Fairfield Book Shop on Cook Street, the smell of used books is a reminder of things gone by.

The wooden bookshelves, once home to thousands of books of all genres from contemporary, historical and British fiction to modern literature, and sports and recreation to military history, now sit half empty. Other books sit in metal carts and the store’s blue walls stand bare.

After more than 20 years in business the beloved used bookstore, the last store on the south end of Cook Street Village, will be closing its doors in the coming weeks.

Its new owners, Mai and Melissa Tong, took possession July 1 and are currently in the process of selling the hundreds of used books still left, before it officially closes as a bookstore.

According to Mai, the previous owner put the roughly 1,200-square-foot business up for sale about a year ago. Mai came across the listing in April and decided to purchase it as is.

The used bookstore was originally opened 33 years ago by veteran used book seller Reg Smart. Seventeen years later, Donna Ashmore acquired the business.

“It’s sad to see the store go, everyone is because it’s been here for 25 years,” said Mai, adding sales have been decreasing over the past year, according to financial statements. “Nowadays with the Internet, everything is all e-books, but everyone still loves their books.”

Residents are also sad to see the bookstore closing its doors.

Joan Kennedy has been going to the store to purchase her favourite books for several years.

“I was disappointed,” said Kennedy, who used to live in the Cook Street Village. “You find good second hand books and a variety of books. It was handy when I was in the area to get groceries.”

But when one chapter ends, another begins.

The sisters will be turning the store into a spa, offering services such as manicures, pedicures, massages, eyelash extensions, facials, waxing and tinting.

“There’s a lot of traffic and a lot of people walking,” said Melissa, adding it will remain a family-owned business. “There’s lots of traffic here for a spa.”

Mai hopes the business will become a staple in the community, in the same way the bookstore once was.

The duo expects renovations to begin in the next two to three weeks, with Cook Street Nail and Spa opening in the fall.

 

 

Just Posted

Purple Day marks long journey for Gorge resident

Legislative Assembly to recognize epilepsy on Tuesday

Increasing cloudiness with a high of 12 C for today

A look ahead at this week’s forecast

Stay alert for spring sweepers on Greater Victoria highways

Motorists asked to be on the lookout as road crews prepare for spring

West Shore RCMP better than municipal police forces, mayors say

West Shore municipalities funding more officers and civilians at local detachment

More people are hauling themselves to Greater Victoria

Victoria ranks second in U-Haul’s migration survey, behind Kingston

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Most Read