Shake the Monkey’s Paw
Tempt fate at the Monkey Paw’s Book-O-Matic machine, where for the price of a toonie you’ll be delivered an archaic tome in the vein of Elementary Arabic, Vol. 3. I’ll let you know how my studying gets on. The Monkey’s Paw is an eclectic vintage bookstore on Dundas with a collection of unique books, vintage maps, and bugs preserved in Lucite.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
The Most Unusual Bookstore in Toronto
As stated on their website, Monkey's Paw is Toronto's most idiosyncratic secondhand bookshop, specializing in uncommon and out-of-print books, ephemera, and images. On one visit, I was able to find an old Boy Scout handbook from the 1940s. This is also a great place to find an old typewriter. If you like odd books or want a good story from owner Stephen Fowler, this is your place. And the source of the store’s name? The W. W. Jacobs tale with an ominous moral: be careful what you wish for.
By Natalie Taylor, AFAR Local Expert
The Marvelous Book Machine
If you are a seeker of the written work in pulp and ink, then you simply must visit this bookstore. The Monkey's Paw is an antique bookstore that will cater to your literary whims. The selection, while not huge, is eclectic and entertaining. In the photo above you will notice an interesting looking device in the background bearing the title of Biblio-Mat. Simply put, you place two dollars Canadian in it, and a book, not of your choosing, will materialize in the slot below. What's the point of this you say? There is no point, other than the fact that there's something magical and fun about the entire experience that you won't fully understand until you visit for yourself. Toss in your coins, listen closely to the whizzing and whirring that would've made Rube Goldberg envious should he have envisioned such handiwork, gather your item, and walk away with a literary masterpiece that is unique unto you.
By Matthew Keesecker, AFAR Local Expert