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Montreal: Librairie Renaud-Bray.

Renaud-Bray is the second-largest bookstore chain in Canada, after Chapters-Indigo, and is the largest French-language bookstore chain in North America.

 

This particular location, at the corner of Cote-des-Neiges and Jean-Brillant, is the flagship store. If I remember correctly, this store opened at some point around the spring of 1995, less than a year after I started attending the Animate/Animé Central anime club at the nearby Université de Montréal, and it replaced the original Renaud-Bray store just across the street.

 

This location also has, bar none, the best selection of French-translated Japanese manga comics in the Montreal area. (Here's a picture I took inside the store that didn't come out well enough for me to post in Flickr, but you can still get the idea, and those shelves are only about half the manga there.) And France's big manga publshing boom occurred in the mid-1990s, while only a couple of very niche publishers that mainly only sold to speciality comic book stores were publishing manga in English at the time, so, until Tokyopop revolutionized selling manga through mainstream bookstore chains early the following decade, you could find shelves full of manga in French bookstores in Montreal in 1995, while you were lucky if you could find a volume or two of Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ at English-language bookstores, if they had any manga at all (outside of the French-language section, of course).

 

During breaks and showings of anime I hated, I could usually be found here, browsing French-translated manga (and nude artistic photobooks, but that's another entry for another time).

  

You can also see Saint Joseph's Oratory on the northwest slope of Mount Royal in the background. Next time I visit Montreal for a couple of days, which may be at some point in the autumn, I hope to take a few pictures up there.

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Taken on April 5, 2008