Find Toronto’s Scariest Reads at Trinity Bellwoods Newest Bookstore

While other children were reading children’s books, Chris Krawczyk was already devouring adult books. horror novels It all started with a gift from Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood” series, and Chris’s descent into darkness was complete. “My friend’s advice to me was: ‘Keep the strange and unusual close to your heart; they make life worth living,’” says Chris. “I really took it very seriously.”

Chris also loves comics and in 2015, he opened The Sidekick Comics store/cafe in Leslieville. But Chris’s heart still belonged to horror.

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“I follow some really amazing diverse voices that were releasing some wild books from small publishers, but I couldn’t find them in any physical stores,” says Chris. “I could get things from Amazon, but I wanted to buy locally and ethically. Eventually, I had a long list of publishers and books, and it seemed like what I had was a catalog for a store.”

Along with her husband and co-owner Jason Krawczyk, Chris opened Little Ghosts at 930 Dundas St. W., Canada’s first bookstore/cafe dedicated to horror, in April. “A good story will haunt you” is stamped on a brick wall. “It’s a welcoming environment that provides unimaginable horrors, like a warm nostalgic hug from a xenomorph,” says Jason. “And there’s coffee too!”

Little Ghosts offers everything from body horror novels and thrillers to creature movies, as well as nonfiction covering serial killers, alien abductions, and historic burial practices.

Why is the horror genre so loved by so many? “I like the way it puts a face or force on feelings of terror, restlessness, anxiety and dread,” says Chris. “Imagine if your problems were a ghost, a monster, a serial killer, that the thing that robs you of power could get punched, a seance, or a fire. That you could kill him, that you could succeed. The horror is cathartic.”

Horror can also serve as an allegory for many themes, be it racism (as in Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”) or homophobia (as in “The Route of Ice & Salt,” a gay version of “Dracula”). The Krawczyks prioritize diversity when curating their selection. “While we have some classics (from the likes of Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, and Koji Suzuki), we seek to bring to the forefront underrepresented authors who haven’t had access to wider distribution or don’t see their books often in stores. . ”, says Chris. “People are doing an amazing job of presenting those ideas in new and scary ways.” Some of his recent favorites include the independently published anthologies “The Book of Queer Saints” and “Your Body Is Not Your Body” (proceeds from the latter go to an organization for trans youth in Texas).

Little Ghosts also hosts book signings and book launches and launches a subscription service in June, for which people can sign up online for a new book each month or quarter, or for an annual box set of merchandise and discount codes. for the online store. The Krawczyks even hope to release their own horror books one day. “Little Ghosts can be a bookstore and a publishing house, right?” Jason says. “We’ll have to learn the finer points of posting and erase some of our current dishes, but it’s equally exciting and terrifying. Like the store.

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