With a smile on his face, Angus Watt prepares for a trip he’ll likely make hundreds of more times.
Watt is one of more than sixty Russell Books employees who over the next few months will tackle the massive task of packing up and moving every book in the three-floor bookstore across the street.
The popular bookstore in the 700 block of Fort Street is moving to the old Staples Office Supply store directly across the street.
Staff have already started putting books in boxes and wheeling them with a dolly across the street.
With an estimated 500,000 books at its location (not including the hundreds of thousands in storage), it’s believed it will take thousands of trips to get every book inside the new location.
The move gives Russell Books something it hasn’t had since opening on Fort in the early nineties: accessibility.
The bookstore began as a smaller ground-level space but with more books came the need for more space.
“And then it grew to the back of the store, and then we grew up, and then we grew over, and then we grew down,” says owner Andrea Minter.
Climbing stairs to find a book hasn’t been easy, or even possible, for every customer.
At roughly 18,000 square feed, the old Staples space is about 6-thousand square feet larger. It also has elevators and escalators.
Russell Books says it’s using the move as an opportunity to catalogue every book that goes into the new location, which will help with its database.
New books are already being unpacked at the new location and on Wednesday shelving units were beginning to be dropped off.
The bookstore hopes to open its new location in the fall. It will keep both stores open for a few months as it finalizes the move.
It hopes to have the new store fully open, with every book moved out of the old location by Christmas.