Welcome to Steven Temple Books

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Having operated shops on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto since our founding in 1974, we closed the shop in March, 2014 and now operate from home in Welland, Ontario (close to Niagara Falls, only two turns from Toronto). We can see visitors by appointment. The books (currently around 10,000 of them) are priced, on shelves, and in categories. We continue to specialize in literary books, especially Canadian literary books, general Canadiana, and select out-of-print and rare books in various fields (mostly 19th and 20th century, though we do stock some earlier). We now have some ephemera, but don’t stock comic books, fairly recent used books, bestseller novels, nor paperbacks (unless collectible). Business is primarily by internet or mail. We welcome and pay attention to wants lists when they are for books we might actually find some day and which are worth more than a token amount.

We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, Amex, PayPal, cheque (Canada and US only), money order, e-transfer (Canada only) – even cash.

Some recent arrivals…

  • GREENE, Graham
    WAYS OF ESCAPE (signed, first first)
    Edition: First printing

    The limited issue, #12 of 150 copies signed by the author. Brown grained leather gilt lettered, spine with raised bands, gilt decoration, rounded outer corners, tipped in tissue guard at limitation page, in brown cloth slipcase. Fine copy. This is the first issue binding. Perhaps because the binding was so unattractive, the publisher abandoned the project and sold the unbound sheets to a Canadan bookseller who issued them in green cloth. Some say there were fewer than 20 in the first issue binding, others say 53 copies, making it one of the rarest Green items. This Canadian edition is the correct first (publisher Louise Dennys is Greene's niece).

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50123
    View cart More details Price: USD $1,500.00 USD $1,350.00
  • BANVILLE, John
    NIGHTSPAWN
    Edition: First printing

    Brown boards. Tiny corner bump at head of spine, soft push at foot of spine, else fine in fine jacket, flap price intact. A lovely copy of the author's second book, first novel, which he has disowned.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50124
    View cart More details Price: USD $395.00 USD $355.50
  • PEAKE, Mervyn
    THE RHYME OF THE FLYING BOMB: with 22 illustrations by the author
    Edition: First printing

    Black boards. pp 43. Fine copy. Orange jacket has minor rubbing to spine but no sunning; 0.4 cm tear to rear panel; else fine, flap price intact. A verse inspired by the violence of WWII. Note: light parcel, any default shipping may be reduced.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50125
    View cart More details Price: USD $125.00 USD $112.50
  • BANVILLE, John
    LONG LANKIN
    Edition: First printing

    Black boards. Just a mite leaned, else fine in fine jacket, flap price intact. A lovely copy of the author's first book, a collection of short stories. Scarce, especially in such nice condition.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50126
    View cart More details Price: USD $950.00 USD $855.00
  • MUNRO, Alice
    OPEN SECRETS: Stories (inscribed)
    Edition: First printing

    Beige boards. Fine in fine jacket. Inscribed by the author on the title page "For Rick, Alice Munro".

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover.
    Book ID: 50127
    View cart More details Price: USD $125.00 USD $112.50
  • MUNRO, Alice
    DANCE OF THE HAPPY SHADES: Stories. Foreword by Hugh Garner [INSCRIBED]
    Edition: First printing

    Octavo, light green cloth. Light yellowing to page edges, as usual, small light ink name at front, else fine in fine jacket, no gold G-G's sticker. INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR on the title page "For___, Alice Munro." The author's FIRST BOOK, arguably the most important book in the history of Canadian literature, launching as it did the career of one of the world's greatest living short story writers. A collection of 15 short stories, all winners. It won a Governor-General's Award, the first of three such. Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, well deserved. Signed copies are now uncommon on the market.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover.
    Book ID: 50128
    View cart More details Price: USD $850.00 USD $765.00
  • GREENE, Graham
    HOW FATHER QUIXOTE BECAME A MONSIGNOR
    Edition: First printing

    Terra cotta cloth stamped in black & gilt. pp [2], x, (19), [3]. Fine copy, with the original plastic wrapper. #4 of an edition of 300 numbered copies signed by the author.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover.
    Book ID: 50129
    View cart More details Price: USD $195.00 USD $175.50
  • MUNRO, Alice
    THE MOONS OF JUPITER [inscribed]
    Edition: First printing

    Octavo, cloth and boards. Fine in fine jacket. Inscribed by the author "For Bob, with good wishes, Oct / 82". 2013 Nobel Laureate.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover.
    Book ID: 50130
    View cart More details Price: USD $150.00 USD $135.00
  • Atwood, Margaret
    THE EDIBLE WOMAN
    Edition: First printing

    Maroon boards. Bookstore ticket to lower inner corner of front pastdown, very small soft corner bruise to lower corner of rear cover, else fine. Jacket has minute rubbing, tiny corner nick at head of spine, else fine. A superior copy of the author's first nove.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50131
    View cart More details Price: USD $395.00 USD $355.50
  • MUNRO, Alice
    THE PROGRESS OF LOVE (inscribed proof)
    Edition: First Canadian edition

    Octavo, uncorrected proof in pink card covers printed in black. Light spinie sunning, else fine. Inscribed by the author on the title page. Another great collection of short stories, it won the Governor-General's Award for Fiction.

    Condition: Binding: Softcover
    Book ID: 50132
    View cart More details Price: USD $195.00 USD $175.50
  • MUNRO, (Alice).
    THE BEGGAR MAID. Stories of Flo and Rose.
    Edition: First UK printing

    Pale green boards. [8], 219, [2] pp. Small soft corner bump to rear cover, else fine; Jacket has a soft crease to upper inner corner of rear panel, and a corner crease to rear panel, else fine. A nice copy of the uncommon British first of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (Toronto, 1978), which won a Governor-General's Award and was the fourth book of this master of the short story.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50133
    View cart More details Price: USD $195.00 USD $175.50
  • THOMAS, Dylan
    ADVENTURES IN THE SKIN TRADE
    Edition: First printing

    Black boards. Front cover a little bowed; slight yellowing to page edges, band of tanning to inner margins of free endpapers from binding materials, else fine. Jacket has light yellowing to spine; small tear and moderate soiling to rear panel, VG otherwise, flap price intact, attractive.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50134
    View cart More details Price: USD $125.00 USD $112.50
  • Ondaatje, Michael
    THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID. Left Handed Poems. (inscribed)
    Edition: First printing

    Octavo, black boards, spine gilt lettered. pp (110), (2). Fine copy. Dust jacket has a two inch internally repaired tear to upper inner corner of front panel and a half inch tear to top edge; one inch and half inch tears to rear panel; nicks and rubbing to spine ends; rubbing to flap folds and edges; in all, Good+, but unusually, the red spine lettering is not faded. This is the second issue of the jacket, with "Winner of the / Governor-General's Award" in gilt within a frame to upper outer corner of front panel. Additionally, just beneath is a gilt sticker for Canada Basic Books. With later inscription by the author on title page in his minimalist scrawl "To___, with best, M. Ondaatje" The inscribee was an important book collector. His first book to win the Governor-General's Award, the hardcover issue is easily his RAREST TRADE BOOK. An informed guess of the number of hard covers done would be 250 or so, with a goodly number of those going to public libraries.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50113
    View cart More details Price: USD $1,500.00 USD $1,350.00
  • ONDAATJE, Michael
    THERE'S A TRICK WITH A KNIFE I'M LEARNING TO DO. Poems 1963-78.
    Edition: First US printing

    First hardcover issue (also a US paper issue); the 1979 Toronto edition being in paper only. Red cloth. Soft crease at head of spine, else fine. Dust jacket has clip to bottom corner of front flap but 12.95 price present at top, else fine. The book won the Governor-General's Award for Poetry.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50115
    View cart More details Price: USD $75.00 USD $67.50
  • Ondaatje, Michael
    TIN ROOF
    Edition: First printing

    (28) pp, Cream card covers. Small crease at top spine fold, else fine. With ink ownership signatures of Canadian authors John Newlove and John Metcalf. Edition of 500 copies of which 50 were in hardcover. This is #159. Note: light parcel, any default shipping may be reduced.

    Condition: Binding: Softcover
    Book ID: 50116
    View cart More details Price: USD $65.00 USD $58.50
  • ONDAATJE, Michael
    THE DAINTY MONSTERS (inscribed)
    Edition: First printing

    Octavo, plain brown boards, mustard endpapers. pp (79). Fine in fine jacket. Inscribed by the author on the title page. The author’s FIRST BOOK, a collection of poetry issued in an edition of 500 press-numbered copies, this is #307. Variant with the Coach House Press logo in red on the colophon page.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50117
    View cart More details Price: USD $850.00 USD $765.00
  • ONDAATJE, Michael
    THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID: Left-Handed Poems
    Edition: First UK printing

    Octavo, black boards. Fine in fine jacket, flap price intact. The Toronto edition won a Governor -General's Award for poetry.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50119
    View cart More details Price: USD $125.00 USD $112.50
  • Ondaatje, Michael
    THE MAN WITH SEVEN TOES (copy #1)
    Edition: First printing

    First edition of the author's second substantial book, a collection of poetry. Oblong 12mo, orange cloth, grey endpapers. A fine, bright copy. The grey jacket is lightly sunned to margins of panels and to upper and lower margin of flaps, else fine. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. Addtionally inscribed by the author to a noted Canadian book collector. A stated edition of 300 numbered copies, this is # 1, hand numbered. (There is good reason to believe there were actually more than 300 copies, perhaps as many as 500, though it does appear that only the first 300 were numbered, and the first 50 were signed as well). A long poem that Michael O. doesn't like any more and will not allow to be reprinted. Only this first printing is in hardcover, subsequent printings being issued in paper covers.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50120
    View cart More details Price: USD $1,495.00 USD $1,345.50
  • Ondaatje, Michael
    COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER (inscribed)
    Edition: First printing.

    Octavo, blue boards. Fine in fine jacket. Inscribed by the author on the title page. The author's first full-length prose work, a novel of legendary New Orleans trumpet player Buddy Bolden and the birth of jazz. The cloth issue is scarce.

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover.
    Book ID: 50121
    View cart More details Price: USD $250.00 USD $225.00
  • GREENE, Graham
    WAYS OF ESCAPE
    Edition: First printing

    The limited issue, #120 of 150 copies signed by the author. Green cloth. Fine in fine green cloth slipcase. This is in the second issue binding. The first issue was bound in brown leather in a brown cloth slipcase, but perhaps because it was so unatractive the publisher abandoned the project and sold the unbound sheets to a Canadan bookseller who issued them in this binding. Some say there were fewer than 20 in the first issue binding, others say 53 copies, so a maximum of 97 copies in green cloth. This Canadian edition is the correct first (publisher Louise Dennys is Greene's niece).

    Condition: Binding: Hardcover
    Book ID: 50122
    View cart More details Price: USD $450.00 USD $405.00

A selection of our current highlights…