Sunday, September 24, 2006

Word on the Street, Toronto 2006

Attended the biggest outdoor book bash in Canada yesterday! What's that, you may be wondering - it's " The Word On The Street Book & Magazine Fair." which takes place annually just as the trees are starting to paint themselves in glorious shades of colour from the earth's palette in order to welcome the fall.

The highlight of the festival (for me) was being able to witness the first Transatlantic book-signing using "Long Pen", the machine devised by Margaret Atwood, which allows writers to sign books from virtually anywhere in the world! In this instance, she was in the Waterstones Bookstore, Edinburgh where she read from her new book "Moral Disorder" and then proceeded to sign books for fans. I like reading the grande dame of Canlit, but not enough to buy her book at $32 - I'll pick up a copy when I see it in soft cover. Other authors also using Long Pen at the festival were Kate Mosse of "The Labyrinth" fame and Thomas Cahill (although I am not sure of Thomas Cahill because I didn't stick around for his reading).

Please do check out Cereal Girl's blog - she's done some fantastic posts on the "Word On The Street" event with great video clips, mini-interviews and so on, she also has terrific posts on other things Canadian - it's well worth a visit, go now!

Read more about the Long Pen signing here and also check out Photo Junkie's
remarkable picture blog with Margaret Atwood at work with the Long Pen, here.


19 comments:

Dawn said...

The "long pen" sounds really weird!!! You do have some of the coolest things to go to there!

hellomelissa said...

i was all excited about the big pittsboro library book sale this week until i read your post. now i'm just jealous! :)

Marsha Skrypuch said...

So other authors are signing with the Long Pen too? Nifty!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Dawn! Yeah, I'm lucky that way. Toronto does have some really cool cultural events!

Hi, Melissa I'd be excited about a big libary sale, too, after all, no book festival in the world can ever compete with library bargains! Have a wonderful time and I hope you pick a nice stash of books. Let me know!

Hello, Marsha Thank you for visiting. Yes, looks like the Long Pen has finally taken off. Ms. Atwood will be using it again at the Harbourfront Festival of Authors -maybe I'll take my copy of "Oryx and Crake" and have her sign it through Long Pen, should be fun!

Susan Abraham said...

Toronto used to be one of the happening Woodstocks scenes in the 60s I think...hippies, flower power and all that. It never quite lost the flowers in its hair.

Have fun Lotus with all those literary dos.

Carl V. said...

I love the poster art!

booklogged said...

So I sat and watched the poster for awhile. It appears this fair happens in several cities across Canada. How cool. I read the article about the long pen, but I need to see some pictures. I'm not quite seeing how it works. It's exciting that you were in on this historical event.

Susan in Italy said...

How exciting to be in the middle of all these cultural festivals! First films and now this!

a.c.t said...

That's just bizarre! A robotic arm! It's revolutionary but I think it's taking technology a bit too far. I love the idea of book signings and I can't imagine them being the same without the author actually present. Maybe I'll appreciate it one day if I ever become a famous writer :-P

Lotus Reads said...

Hey Suse, you would have loved this festival, especially the Long Pen booth, because, living in Malaysia as you do, you might well want to invest in it one day when you're called upon to sign your readers' books! ;)


Hey Carl, I agree - it's an eye-catcher for sure!


Hi, booklogged! I tried getting some pictures, but it was soooo crowded! I kept wishing someone would hoist me on their shoulders, I could barely see over the heads of some of the taller people there! :) But I did find you pictures! Photo Junkie has some nice ones of how long pen works - I'm putting the link on my post.


Hello, act! It is revolutionary, isn't it, and to think Ms. Atwood conceived of it herself! With your wonderful writing skills, I have no doubt you will need it someday!

Lotus Reads said...

Susan I guess it's just the perks of living in a metropolis. You probably did all of this and more when you lived in Chicago, no? Things will be different when I return to India, but even there I'm sure I'll find something to blog about! :)

Cereal Girl said...

I absolutely love your blog! It's so thorough. How do you get all the lovely pictures like the Word on the Street graphic? Do you need permission?

I tried the long pen and have a picture of it in action on YouTube. My clip came out a little blurry but you get the idea. Just sign a screen the same way you sign for a package at the post office and it rewrites it using a stylus. The machine even hesitates when you do, forming the letters.

I am going to have lots of fun reading your previous posts! One of my fav courses ever was called Post Colonial Literature. Midnight's Children is one of my alltime favorite books. I'm sure you'll give me lots of ideas about what to read next.

Thanks!

Guinness_Girl said...

Oh, I'm so jealous! That festival looks amazing.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, cereal girl! I feel so happy to have chanced upon your blog, and you're doing really well considering you've been blogging for only a month! With regard to the poster, I'm not sure if one needs to get permission, I just figured it would be great publicity for the WOTS! :)


How I wish I could go back to school to take a few literature courses - I feel certain Post Colonial Literature would be my favorite one, too! :) I am almost embarrassed to say I've never read Rushdie's "Midnight Children" - perhaps one of these days.

I will provide a link to your You Tube clip on the main body of my post - thanks for letting me know.


Hi gg So glad to see you here, I have missed you much!

Carl V. said...

Left you some feedback on the Reader's Journal Neverwhere post.

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, Carl, got it, will start with Coraline, I think my kids will enjoy it, too - they love creepy! :)

booklogged said...

Lotus, thanks for including the pictures. I guess I'm a visual learner, huh? Technology just blows me away. Hooray to Atwood for inventing such a cool idea. I'd like to do that someday.

booklogged said...

Forgot to mention - worthy comments from Cereal Girl. I totally agree with her. Off to visit her blog right now.

Marsha Skrypuch said...

Hi Lotus,

Just wanted to let you know that I will be doing four public readings in Toronto this coming week. The schedule can be found here:
http://marsha-s.livejournal.com/26925.html?mode=reply