At a time when big-box bookstores have captured a large share of the market and forced many smaller independent bookstores to close their doors, Charlottetown is fortunate to have a thriving local bookstore in the heart of the city.
The Bookmark, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, is dedicated to its community of readers—and they in turn are steadfast in their support of the store.
That the store truly valued the patronage of its readers was clear during the COVID-19 lockdowns, when Bookmark staff took orders by email, text message, and telephone and made home deliveries to their customers’ doorsteps. Opened in 1972 by the late Rodney Jones and currently owned by Dan & Marlene MacDonald, who purchased the store in 2014, The Bookmark has become a treasured Island institution.
Over the last 50 years, The Bookmark has become known for its curation of Island books – particularly Island heritage books – and its commitment to the Island’s literary community. This includes sponsoring of author events, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and the Bookmark’s generous contributions to Island organizations, such as the Island Nature Trust, the Upper Room Food Bank, and other charities.
The Bookmark has hosted book launches and readings by a host of local, national, and international authors and poets, from Dutch Thompson, John Smith, and Richard Lemm to Margaret Atwood, Diana Gabaldon, and Sheree Fitch.
It has also been the bookseller at the hub of every International L.M. Montgomery Symposium at the University of Prince Edward Island. For the Bookmark’s 50th anniversary, the MacDonalds have made donations totalling $50,000 to five community organizations.
For all that they have done, the Foundation honours Dan and Marlene MacDonald with a Heritage Recognition Award.