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Duthie Books Ltd. was founded in 1957 by Bill Duthie (1920-1984), who worked as a publisher's representative in Western Canada prior to becoming a bookseller. In 1982, Bill and Mary Frances Macneill's daughter Celia Duthie took over as president and CEO, with siblings David Duthie and Cathy Legate serving as members of the board of directors.
The first Duthie Books location was on Robson Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company supplied books in different languages to the general trade market and through Macneill Library Service, its wholesale library division, which distributed to school and university and public libraries. Duthie Books published a quarterly book review journal entitled "The Reader," from 1981-1995; this was relaunched as "The New Reader" in 1996 and ceased publication in 1999.
In 1997, Duthie Books acquired Bollum's Books out of receivership. Duthie Books won "Chain Bookstore of the Year" from the Canadian Booksellers Association in 1998. In 1999, Duthie Books Ltd. underwent a strategic planning and restructuring process, and went from a peak of ten locations across Vancouver, to a single store in Kitsilano. This last Duthie Books location closed its doors in 2010.
Duthie Books Ltd. was a supporter of BC and Canadian authors and publishers; the company fostered a knowledgeable reading public and a vibrant book culture in the city of Vancouver for fifty-three years. Over those years Duthie Books worked with fine printers and artists like Takao Tanabe and Bob Reid to produce beautifully designed and printed bookmarks; these are gathered into a book entitled Duthie's Bookmarks, published in 2007 by the Alcuin Society.
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