Gloria and Max Sloan run the Pulp Firction Coffee House

Separating fact from (pulp) fiction in Kelowna

New artsy business a rare find among collectors book stores and innovative coffee houses

  • Nov. 2, 2012 8:00 a.m.

When Max Sloan started collecting pulp fiction thirty-five years ago, he knew he would one day open a store.

That he could have imagined it would become the one-in-a-million find it is, well that might have been foreseeable too.

Sloan is a geologist by trade and the unreal collection of pulp fiction, classic hardcovers, magazines and collectibles he has crammed into the former home of Kelowna radio station SilkFm, at Lawrence Avenue and Pandosy Street, is the kind of gem only someone who has travelled the world in search of treasure might create.

“I don’t know of another place like it in the Pacific Northwest,” said Sloan, noting he’s already been visited by book dealers.

With poster finds from Brussels and original copies of Anne of Green Gables, the shop, bannered as the Pulp Fiction Coffee House, has something for everyone. In fact, it’s really four separate businesses in one.

In addition to the coffee house, the cavernous space, divided into little nooks, contains Robbie Rare Books, named after Sloan and his wife Gloria’s standard poodle Robbie, Britannia Antiques and Art Deco Nouveau, and boasts a grand schematic ranging from posters for hipsters to Hemingway for bookworms.

Sloan has the Hardy Boys and a lamp that depicts Napoleon’s retreat that was made for the Paris Exhibition and found in a Lebanon, Tennessee shop.

He’s got titles like The Destroyer and The Wolf of Wall Street in the hallway behind the ’50’s diner swivel seats and tiny coke bottles.

What he doesn’t have is any memorabilia focused on John Travolta, Bruce Willis or Uma Thurman.

“People keep thinking it’s named for Pulp Fiction the movie, but it’s not. Pulp is actually a term for cheap paper,” said Sloan.

During prohibition, printing on pulp paper for everything from paperbacks to posters produced a plethora of quick and dirty material tales, rife with with heady crime dramas playing out in the streets. Sloan says he simply loves the art of it all.

“I’m not a big reader. I like the aesthetic,” he explained as he stood looking into the glass encased bookcase of collector’s paperback pulp.

Whether you’re looking for a $500 copy of Jim Thompson’s The Transgressor or a chance to hear a live poetry reading, Sloan says he just wants people to come in and hang out.

“I really enjoy young people,” he said. “So we want the university kids to come in, get a poster for their dorm room or sit and read. But we know we need the well-heeled middle-aged set for the antiques and a few of the grey-hairs too.”

As for retirement, he says working his passion is about as much of a break as he needs.

Just Posted

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Update: Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Update: Power restored to 2,000 Lake Country homes

The cause of the outage is unknown

Update: Okanagan Mountain Park fire holds at 400 hectares

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Update: Wildfire near Summerland mapped at 118 hectares

The Mount Conkle wildfire is 90 per cent guarded

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

RDOS fire update: emergency social services moved

Centre moved to Penticton Memorial Arena for Saturday and Sunday

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read