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Manfred Meurer, owner of Book Stage, started his career in the book trade with many years spent in various cities in Germany before fulfilling his dream of opening his own store in Toronto's Bloor West Village in 1976. In 1990 he moved to Stratford with the idea of semi retirement, concentrating on the books he really loves: art, music, the best in children's books and illustration, languages, and the essentials in world literature and philosophy. He believes that the independent book trade (in particular second hand/out-of-print) is a place where a culture is accessible that is rapidly disappearing. It needs more recognition and support lest it succumb to the new phenomenon of internet buying and reading.

Twenty-five years of "semi retirement" later, his shop has a huge inventory of books new and old, including nonfiction. The emphasis is on fine books, first editions, and limited, out-of-print, and antiquarian books in all fields.

Needless to say, Manfred is a theatre fan and sees each play of the season at least once. His theatre section holds a few thousand titles.

Book Stage is a paradise for those who like to browse and discover. Customers who feel overwhelmed at the sight of walls filled with single titles (there are no piles of bestsellers here) are encouraged to ask the owner for assistance. This is a one-man show--and if he's got it, he knows where he put it!

The store can get very busy during the theatre season, but off-season it's quiet. This is when Manfred may pursue some of his other interests like travel, skiing, and hiking (downscaling from youthful mountain climbing…).

He still likes to be challenged with a book search. Give it a try.


“Stratford itself is the type of walkable wholesome town Rodgers and Hammerstein might write a musical about.”

- Amy Alipio, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler

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