Gnu Books was undoubtedly the favourite book store of my teen years. I used to browse here all the time with my siblings, back when my sister and I collected X-Men comics, and my brothers a whole list of titles that included Alpha Flight and the Fantastic Four. My sister and I used to drive all around the greater Toronto area -- well, truthfully, she did the driving, and I did the scouting in those pre-Internet, pre-smart phone days -- in search of used bookstores where we could snatch up our favourite Harlequin authors, and where I also assembled an impressive collection of truly beat up Martha Grimes' paperbacks. The covers didn't matter, all that mattered was that I read and re-read those mysteries as desperately needing to know the identity of the murderer in question as the previous readers must have done. I'd also find Doctor Who novels, Star Trek novels, and a wide spectrum of fantasy on these quests. We'd check out old stores in Cobourg, Port Hope, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, Scarborough (which had a treasure trove of used books), and less frequently the west end. Whenever we took a trip anywhere, the first thing we'd do is check the phone book for a used bookstore. Those outings were filled with episodes of the two of us getting lost, shouting directions at each other, taking buses to places we'd never been, sharing our money at Dairy Queens across the GTA, but always keeping the lion's share reserved for the books we wanted to buy. One of the nicest things about books for me is how closely I associate them with the best times I've ever had with my siblings. We traded books, talked books, copied books, learned to write our home-theatre plays and adventures from reading them--engaged, had we but known it, in some early iterations of fan fiction. When we moved into our our own homes down the years, we traded our X-Men and Star Trek novel collections back and forth, although somehow my sister has ended up with both, which reminds me that negotiations need to be re-opened again. Even after we all moved away, if we ever ended up in Ajax, we'd drop in on Gnu Books for old times' sake, and to snag another paperback we never knew we wanted. It's possible we spent more time at that 190 Harwood South location than we did anywhere else except school. Didn't hurt that the local arcade was in the same plaza. Kid brothers could be offloaded there without protest and met up with again in time to go home. Now the Ajax location has closed, but I'm glad to see Gnu Books is still thriving in Oshawa, where my Dad practiced medicine for thirty years. I hope that somewhere in their hearts they know how many hours of endless reading pleasure they gave to kids like us. And I'd be more thrilled than I can express if any of my books turn up on their shelves one day. Here's to you, Gnu Books.