Yesterday I made my way up Avenue Road to a little shop just south of highway 401 called Reformation Book Service. Because it is a bit of a distance from the school, I usually only make the trip once a year. The store is run by an elderly man whom I have tremendous respect for named Bob Shaker. Mr. Shaker is probably in his nineties, yet every week he sits in his store selling books. To be honest, I don’t know how much business he does, but I’m sure there are a faithful group who come by to see what’s in store.
It is always a privelege to chat with Mr. Shaker. Although his body is frail, and he walks slowly, his mind is like a steal trap. You can mention any book, or any author, and he can tell you if he has anything in inventory. Not only that, he can tell you all about the author, what books are good to read and others that are not. I asked him about Alexander Carson, and he knew much about him.
Reformation Book Service has been around for quite some time. Mr. Shaker can recall when my pastor in Essex, Richard Valade, used to go in there as a student at Central Baptist! Again, showing Mr. Shaker’s lightning quick mind, he remembered pastor Valade’s red hair and that he used to go in there with a guy named Gibb (I forgot his first name!).
The variety of books that Mr. Shaker has is quite amazing. It includes much more than just theology. I was quite surprised to see the amount of economic books there including F.A. Hayek, Frederic Bastiat, Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, Gary North, etc. It was a libertarian’s dream! I picked up a biography of Bastiat called Frederic Bastiat: A Man Alone by George Charles Roche III (Hillsdale, 1977). He had a lot in the way of English literature, grammar/language, secular history and a lot of Canadian religious history. That, with all of the great Reformed literature, makes for a well-rounded stock. Mr. Shaker is also a fan of the Christian Reconstructionists, although he wouldn’t consider himself one, so had a lot of works by North, Rushdoony, Sandlin, etc. I picked up a copy of Rushdoony’s Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum (Ross House, 2001) at Mr. Shaker’s recommendation. I have about 60 pages left!
There are also two copies of a very rare book on a certain Puritan whom I won’t mention because I’m going to back and snag them when I have more money!
So, if you are in Toronto and are looking to buy some good Reformed books, from systematic theologies to commentaries, histories to practical theology, go to Reformation Book Service at 2045 1/2 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario. Tell Bob that Ian Clary sent you and maybe he’ll give me a discount next time I go in!