Birdhouse Books offers used, antique books in downtown Vancouver

The used bookstore, owned by Sarah Summerhill and Lucas Gubala, just opened its doors this June

Courtesy of Vancouver's Downtown Association website.

Stepping into Birdhouse Books feels a bit like magic. The used bookstore, located in downtown Vancouver’s arts district, specializes in the sale of used and antique books. Owned by Sarah Summerhill and Lucas Gubala, it’s one of Vancouver’s newest businesses. The shop officially opened on June 4, and ever since then, word has spread within the community about its diverse selection and cozy atmosphere.

The bookstore sells books from all sorts of different genres, ranging from classics, philosophy, poetry, science fiction, thrillers, children’s books and much more.

“We aim to keep books circulating within the community, and therefore accept lots of donations as well as buying books from local sources, such as the library and local antiquarians,” Summerhill said.

For people donating books, Birdhouse Books offers a 20% discount in return. Summerhill said that most of their books are sourced this way, but they’ve also been known to buy books at estate sales and sell them in the shop.

Summerhill said that because they opened on the back end of the pandemic, they haven’t had to make many changes to their business structure. However, because of how the restrictions shifted how businesses operated in the last year and a half, they realized that they would need to have a strong online presence with the ability to sell their products through their website.

“Many of the books in our store are also available via our website, birdhousebooks.store,” said Summerhill.

She said that while online sales haven’t been as strong as in-person sales, having a strong website has helped people find their brick-and-mortar location.

Summerhill is encouraged about how gracious the community has already been in welcoming them. Looking at the future, she said she is excited about how the business will grow.

“The downtown community has been so welcoming and lovely,” she said. “We are one of several new businesses downtown, and it seems that people are really excited about how up-and-coming Vancouver is. We’ve already made so many connections and have partnered with two other businesses downtown. We are constantly expanding and getting new books, as well as planning new events. Stay tuned for film showings and poetry slams come September.”

Birdhouse Books is located at 1001 Main St., in Vancouver.

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A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full time freelance writer & social media specialist that specializes in writing blogs and other website content for local and national companies. She is also the co-author of Hooked on Games, a book about technology and video game addiction.