As a bookseller, Celia Duthie combined a love of the traditional book form with a keen entrepreneurial spirit in her promotion of books and reading and in her innovative use of the Internet as a marketing and publishing tool.
An avid reader since childhood, Duthie studied English literature at the University of British Columbia and then comparative literature for her graduate studies. In 1977, after periods spent working in social work, writing poetry, teaching English on the Queen Charlotte Islands and travelling extensively, Celia Duthie began to work for Duthie Books Ltd. which had originally been established by her father, Bill Duthie. On his death in 1984, Duthie assumed ownership of the book company and considerably expanded its operations and services.
Celia Duthie very quickly established a computer system and online database of the entire inventory and over the next few years, implemented a library supply business, increased the total number of bookstores in Vancouver to ten, initiated a Website (www.literascape.com/) and created a virtual electronic bookstore with automatic ordering. Functioning in a very competitive market, Duthie Books had extensive holdings in various languages and subject areas and offered a wide variety of special services to readers of all ages.
Under Celia Duthie's leadership, the company published a quarterly journal of book reviews and announcements entitled The New Reader and a special edition, The Children's Reader. Both publications were available in electronic and printed formats.
Major changes in the Canadian book retailing landscape in the 1990s led Celia Duthie to leave the world of books. Her new business, Salt Spring Woodworks, allows her to combine her entrepreneurial skills with a passion for locally designed wooden furniture and art.
Bacchus, Lee. — "Champion of culture turns a new page". — Vancouver sun. — (Nov. 5, 1983). — P. D3
Crawford, Michael. — "Around the world on a shoestring". — Canadian business. — Vol. 67, no. 12 (December 1994). — P. 83-84, 88, 90-91
Keyes, John T.D. — "Book wars: ...you can glean at least a bit of insight into the professional styles of Celia Duthie and Tom Bollum just by casting a glance around their offices". — Equity magazine. — (June 1996). — P. 20-21, 23
Waterhouse-Hayward, Alex. — "(Almost) on-line from France with Celia Duthie : diary of a techno-illiterate's battle to send an electronic letter". — Equity magazine. — Vol. 13, no. 4 (May 1995). — P. 50-51, 53