The Bookstore on Perron Street is more than a bookstore, both in terms of its stock and its history. A bright, organized space, the offerings on display are a feast for browsers and buyers.
Kim Borle and her siblings own the business but Kim runs it; her daughter Angela Chatwin works alongside her as an employee. But, the beginnings of the store go back to a third generation, when Kim’s parents bought it in 1976. “It was just off Jasper Avenue and it was called Book Order Service of Canada … All it was was an ordering service where people would phone in to get books they couldn’t get in stores,” says Kim.
By 1981, when Kim’s dad moved the business into the basement of his St. Albert home, Kim started working with him; she was 23 at the time. “I had two small children and I brought them to work with me,” she says. Kim’s dad began stocking power engineering books, especially ASME codes. “There were no technical books, codes or standards in stock in all of Edmonton [then]. He was one of the first [places] in Alberta to stock these codebooks,” says Kim. The store is still the only technical bookstore where engineers and all trades can purchase publications they need. In 1986, ready for expansion, the business was set up at its current location, in St. Albert’s cozy downtown district.