Ever since Oprah introduced her book club, reading became cool again – even though some book clubs are more dedicated to oenology than literature.
Life is faster than ever, yet there's still purpose in the slow, page-by-page version of life. We get to know characters and their inner lives more profoundly than we know our own friends.
When the weather gets chilly in Toronto, there's little more welcoming than a well-written novel and a plush blanket. (Admittedly, that glass of wine doesn't hurt, either.)
Nick Cutter, Louise Welsh, Charles Foran and C.C. Humphreys at IFOA 2014 — Photo courtesy of International Festival of Authors
In a world of "tweetable moments," there's room for deliberate language designed to savor. And Harbourfront has become a hub for word composers, peaking with their International Festival of Authors.
From Oct. 22 to Nov. 1, 2015, readers get to make a very solitary activity more community oriented. These 11 days exist as a humanities-based Ted Talk, with interviews, lectures, round table discussions and public book signings.
There's also the opportunity to celebrate the finalists for the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award (and keep the fact that you have a blog to yourself).
Each year, the IFOA sub-specializes, as if the collective discussions will compile one enormous PhD.
This year, the IFOA will focus on the work of upcoming and established poets around the world, as well as the rich culture and vibrant literary scene of Catalonia.
A row of authors at Toronto's International Festival of Authors — Photo courtesy of Tom Bilenkey / International Festival of Authors
Each event has a fee of $18. Alternatively, bibliophiles can purchase a Festival Flex Pass, which will grant 10 passes for $120.
It's an inside look to the work of creative artists, such as when authors congregate to discuss what they are currently working on. They grant the wisdom that comes from hours of toil, helping aspiring writers to stop talking about writing and take the important step of actually writing.
On Oct. 29, for example, writers Tracey Lindberg, Asne Seierstad and Ronald Wright discuss how style and perspective factor in their fiction and nonfiction.
Or you can learn how location can become an additional character at another workshop (also on Oct. 29), as Garth Risk Hallberg, Russell Smith and Steve Toltz discuss their latest works and how the places they have lived influence the stories they tell.
The IFOA extends beyond the perimeters of October. In September, they host the well-loved street and book fair called Word on The Street.
There's also a book club that's on the third Wednesday of every month, with renowned guest speakers and works so enticing that they will extend the length of time your reading lamp is on.
Please give our deepest apologies to your spouse.
Pay tribute to the people who keep you happily homebound when the weather outside is frightful.
The IFOA will spark your epeolatry, or "worship of words" – beyond 140 characters.