Along the stretch of historic buildings on Port Moody's Clarke Street runs the nearly completed Evergreen Line, its shiny new construction and the thousands of people it will one day transport, en masse, a sign of the changing times and the onward march of progress.
There's another sign of changing times across the street, however. It's the "Closing" and "For Rent" signs in the windows of the Jolly Olde Bookstore, the Tri-Cities' last bastion for previously loved books.
After four years of steadily declining business, owner Terry Stillman is packing up the shop — no small feat when there are more than 40,000 books on the shelves. He's boxing half the collection with hopes of re-opening in White Rock but the remaining lot has to go by July 31.
"It's partly that," Stillman said, gesturing out the door to the SkyTrain line. "People got inconvenienced for five minutes and stopped coming down here. Then there's eReaders, computers… people say they don't have time for reading and I say, 'Turn off the TV! Stop watching Netflix!"
A core group of loyal customers has kept the shop going but limping in to 2016, Stillman said it was time to make the call. Densification expected from the Evergreen Line is too far down the road and, when it does happen, will likely bring similar development pressure for his landlords.
"I'm getting out before I'm forced out," he joked.
He's hoping White Rock — a destination for tourists from both sides of the border — would mean more foot traffic along with the sizeable seniors' population that tends to be more avid readers.
There are bargains to be had before Stillman closes his doors for the last time. All books are 50% off this month, 75% off in June and a per-book price to be determined in July.
A book on the Jolly Olde's shelves rarely crosses the $75 mark — a far cry from the more than $12,000 he fetched through his online shop for a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam — and there are thousands of cheap paperbacks lining the shelves, tottering in piles and even stacked up on a chair by the door.
Stillman is in the shop seven days a week, happy to guide patrons to anything from courtroom dramas to dogeared mysteries, naval fiction to science fiction, epic romances to children's literature.
Watch out for the biography section, though. "That one's not in alphabetical order," Stillman told a customer, "so you'll be surprised by something you didn't know you were looking for."