Books and music go together like butter and toast. Everyone loves to listen to their favourite album while they flip through the pages of a good read, but rarely do you ever see a place that has a wide variety of music and a great selection of books. Millpond Records is one of the exceptions, having merged these two worlds together for your pleasure.
Husband and wife Wendy and Greg Hood-Morris opened Millpond Records on Queen Street in the Hespeler part of Cambridge in August 2010, specializing in used and rare records and books. Recently they began selling new books and records as well.
Shelves packed with books are directly in front of you when you enter the store as well as a display of new records. The smell of old books permeates the room, and when you pick up a title that intrigues you and flip through the pages that smell only gets stronger.
On the other side of the store rows of records in sleek protective plastic sit in alphabetical order. An incredible variety of genres can be found, everything from The Beatles to the soundtrack of The Empire Strikes Back. From behind the counter a turntable plays music, entertaining anyone perusing the books or searching through the records.
“I’d always wanted to start a business,” said Wendy when explaining how they started Millpond. “We both have lots of book experience and Greg has tons of music experience so the records and books made a good combination.” Wendy worked at many bookstores before opening Millpond including used bookstores at the University of Toronto, but on the music side of things she and Greg approached the record part of their store as something completely new.
“Greg has been a music fan all his life. He was a musician and he’s been collecting vinyl all his life. I have my own experience with music as well, but the music has always been as fans or musicians. We never worked in a record store before, so that was the only thing we hadn’t done before starting here.”
Wendy and Greg decided on the location in Hespeler because it was within walking distance from their house as well as being an ideal place to open their shop. “It’s a nice little community,” said Wendy. “We’re on our fourth year now and it feels like we’re part of the fabric now.”
Millpond has also seen its share of rare books and records come through the store. “We sold a copy of Esposito. It was rock and roll from the ’60s that went for several hundred dollars. We sold a copy of The Sleeping Beauty, it was a first edition that sold for about $400.”
At Millpond all of the rare and collectible merchandise is proudly displayed behind the counter. Some of the items on display at the time of writing included a Motocourse: 1976-77 book on consignment which is going for $800 and The Two Virgins by John Lennon, a picture disk cover which was also on consignment (a price hadn’t been decided as of press time).
Millpond has also moved online (www.millpondrb.ca) where they sell books and records. They also support local artists from around the Cambridge/Kitchener-Waterloo area by selling their work, which could include books, records or art. An interesting piece available was a record by Esther Grey, where each record sleeve was individually silk screened as well as having each vinyl a different colour. Wendy encourages local artists to bring in their records, writing or art so that it can be sold.
All of this makes Millpond a unique gem of a store that is a required visit for anyone who wants to dig into a book or get some fresh vinyl.