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Headlines from the past: A Coquitlam book store where no order was too obscure, no magazine too niche

Cody Books moved to Coquitlam's Westwood Mall in 1981.
Shawn and Gerry Cody stock shelves at their book store in Coquitlam.

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past is a recurring feature as the publication marks its 40th anniversary in 2024.

Long before Amazon ate everything and Chapters ruled the bookstore landscape, Cody Books in Coquitlam’s Westwood Mall was the destination of choice for local readers.

The community book store operated by Gerry and Shawn Cody was about to open its third location in the spring of 1993 despite the ravages of a rough economy that had already claimed giant, established retailers like Woodward’s and Birks.

Shawn Cody said the new spot in Vancouver’s Champlain Mall fit in with with their love for customer service — no special order for a book was too obscure, no magazine too niche for its extensive newsstand.

“Every time you hear Cody Books, you get a good feeling,” added Gerry Cody.

The brothers’ flagship shop opened at Westwood in 1981 after relocating from its original Cloverdale location. They then added a smaller outlet on the second floor of the Public Market at New Westminster Quay.

Keeping their business small and focused was just the way the Codys liked to operate. It gave them the ability to respond quickly to trends, like the growing interest in home computing.

The brothers also did their own buying to stock the shelves, honing a shrewd eye for bargains to bring in the customers.

The Tri-City News has covered civic affairs, local crime, festivals, events, personalities, sports and arts in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 1983. Bound back issues of the paper are available at the Coquitlam Archives, while digital versions of several past years can be found at