By Mike Gregory
The decorative storefront displays may catch the eye of passersby but once inside Salamander Books they will notice the balance of both new and used books, openness and family-friendly surroundings, said owner Frieda Douglas.
“I think it’s very important to have a place where people can come and talk about books and a place where children can experience finding books in a comfortable atmosphere,” she said.
Salamander Books has been a staple in the Ladysmith community and downtown core for years.
Douglas began working in the store under previous owners Doug and Shirley 18 years ago when it was Fraser & Naylor and purchased the business in August 2005.
Her daughter Lauren helped run the business for a while too.
Douglas is particularly proud of the local interest section that includes history, art, field guides and even bird identification.
“This is a part of the store where people who have just moved here and want to know something about the community can find things,” she said.
An avid reader, Douglas was at one point reading up to 400 titles a year, but estimates it’s now about 160.
Her love and widespread knowledge of titles lends itself well to helping buyers.
She’s also supportive of customers using the local library to browse different genres and visiting the store once they’re ready to make a purchase.
“I want books to be as accessible as possible,” she said.