Follow the yellow-brick road when you enter Western Sky Books.
That’s co-owners Dianne Ganz and Tamara Gorin’s hope for their new Port Coquitlam bookstore — an idea that originated from their business moniker.
Western Sky takes its name from the Broadway musical Wicked, which is based on the 1939 flick The Wizard of Oz where the protagonist, Dorothy, and her crew followed the yellow-brick road to reach their magical destiny.
For the pair, their path around the city’s only retail bookstore will have a story of its own: One that will honour the people who helped them achieve their dream.
For their “road” will contain the names of everyone who donated new and used books — and supplied funding to pay for expenses — to open a storefront in the strip mall next to Safeway.
Officially, the couple threw open their doors to their 1,350 sq. ft. space on Nov. 6 (they plan a public celebration in the new year), offering more than 6,000 titles on the shelves.
“We wanted to get it open even though we are still fixturing,” Gorin said, adding, “We are still living and working out of boxes but things are moving along quite quickly.”
Their plan is to host writers on Thursday afternoons, until March 31; on Thursday, they will bring in author Robert Tozer for a reading from 7 to 8 p.m. Port Moody scribe Yvonne Harris is up next, on Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m. to talk about her latest publication Redemption: The Story of the Oregon Trail and the Fraser River Goldrush, while, on Sunday, Sandra Walton will give a reading, also from 2 to 3 p.m.
Though they’ve only had a soft opening, both Ganz and Gorin are buoyed by the response so far. Book lovers have travelled from out-of-town to pick up certain hardbacks while families have enjoyed browsing the aisles.
Gorin said they set up the store with kids in mind, organizing the children’s literacy area at the back and placing an overstuffed couch at the front for adult readers to lounge.
Still, while they say the space feels right, they acknowledge it’s tucked away, around the corner from other businesses in the strip mall. As a result, they’ve launched a $10,000 online fundraising campaign via Indiegogo.com for a more prominent sign and to help pay for capital projects.
“Everything we do is because of the community and we can’t thank them enough for their support,” Gorin said. “It’s taken us a long time to get here and, because of the community, we’ve done it.”
• Western Sky Books (2132-2850 Shaughnessy St., Port Coquitlam) is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (unless there is an event planned) and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The extended December hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m Sundays to Tuesdays. Visit westernskybooks.com or call 604-417-7215.