Centennial Books and its history

One is never enough.

From basement beginnings came this shop that I can’t stop booking over to

There are a select number of bookstores in Regina, and few are considered local and personable. Centennial Books is hidden in Centennial Market, and although it is located next to Value Village, it is an often-overlooked shop. On your next thrifting stop, I’d recommend that you consider checking out Centennial Books!

Upon walking into this shop, visitors are met with stacks of books and the smell of old pages (anyone who likes old books will know exactly what I’m talking about). There are a variety of sections sure to meet anyone’s interests. I have seen everything from poetry to children’s books, and if you pop in at the right time, you might even find a comic or manga you’ve been searching for!

What many people do not realize is that this store has a unique history behind it. In fact, Centennial Books, in conjunction with its sister store, Spafford Books, have recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Originating as the Book Cellar in the Cathedral area, Richard Spafford had a dream. With $400 of used books, $400 of borrowed money, and a desire to present Regina with a specialty bookstore, Spafford took his chance on becoming a bookseller. 50 years later, his daughter, Leah, has taken over Spafford Books, while Chris and Bill have taken ownership of Centennial Books in the mall. Both of these stores originated from Spafford’s original store, the Book Cellar.

There are so many more interesting facts about these stores and their history, so do be sure to chat with the owners when you get a chance to visit. These people are friendly and modest, but have far more inside stories about Regina’s book history than they let on.

As both an English major and a writer, I can never spend too much time in bookstores. This store is one that never fails to pull me in. I love to check in for books I’ve been collecting, to see what their newest intake has been, and to enjoy flipping through the poetry pages. Even when I don’t have the intention of popping in, I find myself there more often than not.

The store also has several unique sections that are worth checking out. For any Shakespeare aficionados, there is an entire bookshelf dedicated to their growing selection of Shakespearian works. From full plays to one acts and guides, there is no shortage here. There is also a supernatural section that includes a wide variety of stories, from historical witchcraft all the way to modern cryptids. Finally, hidden in the book corner is their philosophy section. While not immediately visible in the store, it is worth searching for. 

If just viewing and buying books isn’t enough for you, Centennial Books proudly offers a credit program for any regulars. When someone takes their books in, they are able to exchange them for a credit within the same genre. I have received credit on several textbooks, and even more fiction novels. Now, there are no guarantees here, but the staff always aim to be as accommodating as possible.

Whether you’re looking for a unique shop in the city or your next read, Centennial Books has got you covered. Don’t forget to pop in at Spafford Books if you’re searching for some rarities, as that’s their specialty! If you have any questions, book related or otherwise, these stores are always happy to help, and of course, always happy to talk books. Have fun reading!


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