Four generations of the Russell Books Family! Pictured from left: to right Chad Depol, Andrea Minter (with the newest member of the family, baby Jasper), and Diana Depol, daughter of Reg Russell (the gentleman in the framed photo).

Russell Books Ltd. is a third generation, family-owned company founded in Montreal, in 1961. It began as a 300 square foot, one aisle, secondhand bookstore and gradually grew into the largest used, antiquarian, and new bookstore in town. In 1991, Reg Russell, the founder of the store, opened a Victoria branch with his daughter Diana and her husband Ron Depol on the 700 block of Fort Street. Ron and Diana are the current owners of Russell Books, while their daughter, Andrea Minter, and her husband Jordan manage the company.

In 2019, due to the increasing need for more space (thanks to the inflow of more and more great books!), the store was moved into an even larger location to 747 Fort Street. The move was a herculean undertaking with approximately one million books being moved across Fort Street into their new space. We also made a World Record at our grand opening! This new location is the current home of Russell Books, and includes two floors, and 18,000 square feet of retail space with a fully accessible layout and even more room for books! 

Family has always been a central part of Russell Books, and we believe in creating a welcoming and open community space for everyone. The owners and staff passionately believe in the importance of books and literacy in the community. The store hosts events, holds author readings, and puts on school fairs throughout Victoria in order to bring the magic of books to as many people as possible. 

As Canada’s largest independent bookstore, Russell Books is proud to be a part of such a supportive and book loving city! We are grateful to be embedded in such a diverse community, and our staff and customers love of reading and books inspires us, impacts our central values and approach to our role in Victoria. See our timeline below to track the growth and progress of the store from 1961 to today. 

We are always thankful for the support we receive from our customers and we look forward to a future filled with books and community!

  • 1961

    The Book Nook was opened by Reg Russell in Montreal

  • 1991

    Russell Books opened its first Victoria location at 734 Fort Street


  • 2005

    Books-on-View opened on View Street

  • 2009

    Upstairs floor expanded


  • 2013

    Vintage and Antiquarian floor opened

  • 2019

    Russell Books moved into its new home at 747 Fort Street


News & Events

Live Music with Frances Hope July 13th

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Harvey’s Reading Challenge

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Read our newsletter!

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Planet Earth Poetry

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Community Support

For over 28 years, Russell Books has proudly encouraged reading enthusiasts throughout the Greater Victoria community. We inspire a passion for reading and literacy through participation in community events, and provide ongoing support and partnership with groups and organizations in the book world and beyond.

Russell Books gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada’s Support for Booksellers Fund.

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