The Last Word says goodbye | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

The Last Word says goodbye

The final chapter for a Windsor Street institution.

click to enlarge The Last Word says goodbye
Victoria Walton
A sign inside The Last Word for a close-out sale that hasn't happened yet
For more than 20 years, The Last Word Bookstore on Windsor Street has provided stocked shelves for newcomers, north-enders, and bibliophiles alike.

“Lots of students, lots of regulars. they’d sort of just come in, plop down and they’d be there for eight hours,” says Nate Crawford, who used to work at the store about 10 years ago.

click to enlarge The Last Word says goodbye
Victoria Walton
In those days, the second-hand store had the very same laid-back vibe: “It was super casual. I worked Sundays, I lived on Moran street so I just would wander down here, sort of settle in,” Crawford says.

Crawford was one of several curious passersby found peering in the windows of the storefront on a Monday, after owner Wayne Greene put up a sign announcing the store would close.

“Wayne is like the O.G. classic Canadian bookseller,” Crawford tells The Coast. "He knows so much about literature, Canadian literature, special topics. He can talk a blue streak, he’s that kind of business person that is just sort of disappearing.”

Over the years, Crawford says the owner has become known for making small talk with anyone who comes through, and for his ability to know which books he had in stock, and exactly where they were amongst the piles of novels that filled The Last Word from floor to ceiling.
click to enlarge The Last Word says goodbye
Victoria Walton

“I asked him about one of my favourite books is called The Art of Racing in The Rain. He didn’t have it, but he knew about it. He just knows books, he knew exactly what I was talking about,” says Brie-anna Bartlett, who’s lived in the apartment above the bookstore since last fall.

Bartlett says she’s also sad to see the store go, as one of Halifax’s few remaining used bookstores. “I don’t think he did this for the money, he did it for the love,” she says.

Across social media, other Haligonians poured out their support for The Last Word and the unique charm of second-hand bookstores.

"I just love how the owner knew EVERY book in the shop, without needing to look it up in a database." - thenoblejobull, Instagram

"Every morning I left the house he would be sweeping the sidewalk. He cared for that place."
- kayrauch, Instagram

click to enlarge The Last Word says goodbye
Victoria Walton

About The Author

Victoria Walton

Victoria was a full-time reporter with The Coast from April 2020 until mid-2022, when the CBC lured her away. During her Coast tenure, she covering everything from COVID-19 to small business to politics and social justice. Originally from the Annapolis Valley, she graduated from the University of King’s College...

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