Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good Egg

We maintain a list at our house of small businesses unlikely to weather the economic downturn well. Already, the pillow shop on Queen Street has gone out of business, and I don't have high hopes for organic dog bakeries and fromageries. Though that our local tea boutique is flourishing means that Good Egg might stand a chance. At least, I really, really hope it does, because I liked the place a lot.

Another bookstore in Kensingston Market, and that this one specializes in cookbooks is only half the story. They've got display tables crowded with kitchen stuff, all your heart so desires but doesn't especially need, which does nothing to negate that desire-- perhaps I should have that ninth teapot. And though usually I'd think twice about any store that sells books and gifts together, Good Egg has selected their books with such obvious care that I really can't help but forgive them.

The books take up about half the store, and aren't just cookbooks, but food books, and all varieties of food books. Their children's section is lovely, stocked with food-themed books for babies and up (I spotted Green Eggs and Ham, The Carrot Seed, The Giving Tree, though there were plenty more), as well as non-food books that are just delicious. Similarly are non-food books for adults stuck in amongst the other shelves, though I got the feeling that if I thought about them hard enough, I could discern how they might fit in with motif. Fiction fascinatingly scattered in the manner of a treasure trove around cookbooks from all over the world, food essays, chef bios, books on agriculture, and the Omnivore's Dilemma. Every shelf yielding a surprise-- an etiquette section, India Knight's new book on thrift, a book on the art of letter writing, as well as numerous crafty delights.

The whole effect sounds a bit kitschy, but there was substance to it. (Oh, and aren't Tessa Kiros' cookbooks the most beautiful in the world?) Every single book in Good Egg had been selected so deliberately, arranged so artfully, and the entire place was a delight to explore just like every good bookstore should be.