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Sophia Books International

450 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1L1

604-684-0484 | Website | Email

A world of languages is found right downtown at this convenient bookstore.



Store Type | Books
Payment | Interac, MasterCard, American Express, Visa


Neighbourhood | Vancouver City Centre
Getting There | #10,16, 20, 135 on Hastings
Cross Street | Hastings and Richards


Mon-Fri: 9AM-7PM Sat: 10AM-7PM Sun: 12PM-6PM

Profile Last Updated: January 08, 2009

Once Upon a Time
In 1975 Makoto Inoue immigrated to Vancouver and opened the Japanese bookstore, Sophia Books. By 1999, Inoue was ready to retire. Vancouver was at risk of losing the access to Japanese culture offered by the store. This potential loss coincided with the closing of another culturally diverse bookshop, Manhattan Books. Luckily for Vancouver, Marc Fournier, who had been a manager at Manhattan, and his wife, Inoue’s daughter, decided to merge the concepts of the two stores. Sophia Books re-opened in 2000 as a multi-lingual bookstore on Hastings and Richards. In 2005, the store moved one door over where they continue to offer one of the most comprehensive collections of books from around the world.

A World of Languages
The staff of Sophia Books can serve customers in multiple languages including French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German and English. Books and magazines can be found in all these languages and more, as can books in translation, travel guides, and ESL materials. Sophia Books has the largest collection of French children’s books in the city and is a regular participant in French immersion school book fairs. But Sophia Books’ concept of language goes beyond the written and spoken variety. The visual languages of art, architecture, anime, graffiti and tattoo are also well represented at the store. In fact, Sophia Books is a major supplier of books on the graffiti and tattoo cultures in Vancouver. Plus they carry music, calendars, and stationary from different parts of the globe.

A Cosmopolitan View
When you walk into Sophia Books on a busy afternoon, the languages, accents and titles around you may confuse your sense of place. You quickly come to realize that Vancouver is a multicultural city and Sophia Books caters to many of those language groups. This gives the bookstore a cosmopolitan edge. The New York Times hails Sophia Books as one of the best bookshops in Vancouver, plus their mention in various travel guides adds to that reputation. If you’re curious about the world, Sophia Books is a good place to start exploring.


Other phone number (Japanese) : 604-684-4032

Take Note: Customers can be served in multiple languages