The Monkey's Paw
World Literature Today|Winter 2020
TORONTO IS ONE of the largest and most diverse cities in North America, a vibrant urban center whose culture constantly fluctuates alongside the many unique people who move through it.
Tyler McElroy

It makes sense, then, that there is a bookstore here which offers diversity in its era as well as its subject. The Monkey’s Paw is an antiquarian bookshop focusing not just on the old but on the uncommonly old.

It would be an exaggeration to say that stepping through the doors of The Monkey’s Paw is akin to stepping through the doors of a time machine. Rather, it is like stepping into a small street-corner museum or a forgotten attic library. The first thing one notices when walking inside is the smell of old, dry paper filling the air, subtle but unmistakable. A discordant yet relaxing piano tune plays softly as the patrons silently browse the lacquered black and hazel bookshelves. The walls are adorned with posters of world maps, diagrams of the human body, textile patterns, and rough pencil sketches of wild animals, all supported by string hung over nails. A stuffed raven surveys the shop from atop an old wooden shelf displaying printmaking plates, while a black Remington typewriter sits on the opposite shelf.

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