Accredited English Bookstore Livres Trois Canons Looking Forward To Next Chapter

Accredited English Bookstore Livres Trois Canons Looking Forward To Next Chapter

LiQ_Mag_Dec_2105_promoThis article first appeared in the December 2015 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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By Sara Crabtree

In a small, unassuming two-room shop at the bottom of the stairs at the Place Naviles shopping centre in Ste-Foy (Quebec City) sits Livres Trois Canons, an independent bookstore that specializes in selling new and used books in English.

This little bookstore has been the centre of my life over the past few years, as I have made a new home in Québec City. I have spent countless hours browsing the shelves, sitting at the little round table in the back of the store, coffee in one hand, book in another, engrossed in whatever story I was reading at the time.

Over the past few years, I have seen the shop grow – not in size, mind you. The walls are fixed and the shelves are consistently loaded down. But what has changed for this little store is huge. Livres Trois Canons has become one of the Capitale-Nationale region’s few bookstores to be accredited by the provincial Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, giving it the right to supply materials in English to public institutions.

Store managers Isabelle Green and Susan Stewart, together with the store owners, have been working toward this goal for the past five years.

According to Stewart, the accreditation “enables us to bring in more bestsellers and offer more to the general public because it gives us the financial base to order the titles people want to read. We can offer an even better service than we already do.”

Following the rigorous guidelines set by the province and focusing on building and organizing the required inventory has allowed the store’s owners and management to dream of the day they would be able to share their love of books with a larger community and supply public schools, colleges, hospitals, long-term care centres and public libraries with books to fill their shelves.LiQ_Mag_Sub_Banner

As an independent bookseller without exclusive contracts with major publishing companies, the store is able to seek out books that may not be available in other locations. Small book publishers come and go, and often the titles they publish fall into oblivion and become hard to find. But, as Stewart states, “we have the luxury and the ability to hunt down those titles with a high success rate. We pride ourselves on serving our customers and finding the specialty books they want and need.” This individualized service keeps customers coming back.

In addition to the individualized service that is offered, the store also carries the largest selection of new and used English books in the Québec City region. The variety of used books in English, relatively hard to find elsewhere in the city, makes this shop a gem.

“When you visit this shop, you are greeted by book lovers, whether they be the people who work here or customers browsing the shelves,” says Stewart, a book lover herself. “We share our passion for a book, and conversations start. Then friendships are made.”

The sharing of that passion for books is what drives Stewart and Green to ensure that francophone and anglophone customers alike are comfortable coming into the store, having a conversation about a book, and leaving with a great tale in hand.

The company started with a pile of books sitting on a chair in a basement and has grown to thousands of volumes stocking the shelves. The store has also remained committed to English language learners.
“Providing students with the books they needed for their English language courses was a paramount concern for us,” Green says.

And this is where my personal connection to this store comes in. Three years ago, I was a new language instructor in Québec City looking for materials for my students when I stumbled upon this store. Since then, I have stocked my shelves with valuable teaching materials and theory books. The store also carries a good selection of dictionaries, grammar books and TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS practice materials.

When you walk into the store, you are literally surrounded by thousands of books, stacked on shelves two or three deep, waiting to be explored, taken home and read. In fact, one of the biggest challenges faced by Livres Trois Canons is space. Part of the accreditation process includes ensuring the store carries a range of titles in a multitude of categories. Stewart and Green agree that finding books to fulfill the accreditation requirements while meeting the needs of the market has been a fun challenge.

“We are looking forward to displaying our new finds in a larger space that gives book lovers the chance to really explore and appreciate our ever expanding selection of new and interesting books,” Stewart says.

The managers gave me a guided tour of some of the newest titles, and we discovered some books too intriguing to put down. For example, I couldn’t help but browse a book of old Parisian maps dating back to the 1100s. We also poured over Guerilla Furniture Design: How to Build Lean, Modern Furniture with Salvaged Materials by Will Holman. It was very hard to pull ourselves away from discussing the ideas within.

Both Stewart and Green reiterate the importance of the community in the store’s success. “We are thankful to those customers who have become our regulars and have believed in us from the very beginning,” Stewart says. “They have continually supported and encouraged us in this process. We are looking forward to being part of this community on a grander scale for many years to come.”

Susan Stewart and Isabelle Green seen here at Livres Trois Canons, the accredited English bookstore at Place Naviles, Quebec City. November 2015. Photo credit: Andrew Greenfield.

Susan Stewart and Isabelle Green seen here at Livres Trois Canons, the accredited English bookstore at Place Naviles, Quebec City. November 2015. Photo credit: Andrew Greenfield.


Tel: (418) 204-4325

info @
Quebec City accredited English bookstore

Librairie agréée de langue anglaise à Québec 


About Author

Sara Crabtree

Sara Crabtree is a native of Texas and has been living in Quebec since 2012. She holds a B.A. in English and a Master’s in Education. She taught Middle School Reading and English before moving to Canada. She currently teaches private English courses, watches lots of movies, and of course reads books voraciously.

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