Duthie Books ruled the roost in this city for decades, building up an empire off of selling the written and printed word.
Founded by Bill Duthie in 1957, his daughter Celia took it over in 1977. His daughter Cathy picked up where Celia left off in 1999, operating the chain until its mostly-bitter end in 2010.
At one point they had ten storefronts, three located on Robson Street alone. As Celia tells it, from 1957 to 1999 they “colonised Vancouver with bookstores; you could hardly go a block downtown without running into a Duthies”.
All good things must come to an end, and by 2010 there was only one Duthies left. It closed its doors forever in January of that year.
Duthies released this logo on a t-shirt and book bag in the 1980s. It contains part of the latin phrase, “Vox audita perit, littera scripta manet”, which translates to “The spoken word perishes, but the written word remains”.
While the introduction of big box players in the market changed bookselling forever, independent operators are on the rise again in Vancouver. Pulp Fiction Books recently expanded into a third location on Commercial Drive, The Paper Hound launched in 2013 and Massy Books in 2017, and Macleod’s and Albion are both still - beyond the projected odds - holding strong.
Portions of the proceeds of this t-shirt will be donated to The Writer’s Exchange, a Vancouver non-profit that gets inner-city kids excited about reading, writing and their own potential.
This design is also available on a book bag.
• Unisex fit, soft feel
• 100% ringspun cotton
• Printed in / shipped from East Vancouver
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