There’s something so magical about reading: just by absorbing words on a page, you’re taken to different worlds where characters of all sorts become your friends and enemies. But penning those pages can be a solitary process, which is why festivals like INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair exist. They serve to bridge a gap between authors and readers where both can share their passions.
At this year’s INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair, there’ll be about 50,000 bibliophiles set to explore a gargantuan offering of all things to do with the written word: the festival will feature 300 hours of program spread out over more than 400 Canadian and international authors taking up eight different stages. Over the three-and-a-half days that the book fair will be going on, readers will get a chance to meet their favourite authors, pick up that book they’ve been dying to read, or get their treasured novel signed.
Some of the authors you can look forward to meeting include:
- Margaret Atwood: The author of “Stone Mattress” will be appearing on Saturday, November 15 at 3:00 pm on the INSPIRE! main stage
- Lev Grossman: The writer who brought you “The Magician’s Land” will be on the INSPIRE! main stage on Sunday, November 16 at 1:00 pm
- Anne Rice: Readers of “The Vampire Chronicles” will get a chance to meet the woman who brought us Lestat, and she’ll be on the INSPIRE! main stage at noon on Saturday, November 15
- Deborah Harkness: If you’ve ever read “The Book of Life”, here’s your chance to see her on Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 pm on the INSPIRE! main stage
In addition to seeing your favourite writers up close and in person, the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair will also feature workshops and seminars for everyone, ranging from book-loving children to adults already involved in the industry.
The Book Fair floor will be sorted into various pavilions, like the Discovery Stage with Ontario and Canadian indie publishers; the International Pavilion, which will host exhibitors from India, France, Portugal and other parts of the world; a Francophone Pavilion for livres français; and the CANSCAIP Illustration Gallery, where you can find the artwork from some of Canada’s most cherished children’s books. And if you get hungry after your busy day, the Book Fair’s taken care of that by setting up the Next Issue Café.
The INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair opens on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 pm at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. Tickets are $15 for in-out access for all three days, $10 for seniors and students aged 12-18, and free for kids under 12.
Whether you’ve been a lifelong reader or are just starting out, there’s something here for everyone. And for about the cost of a book, you can travel the world without ever leaving the city’s boundaries.
For more information on the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair, visit their website. It starts on November 13 and ends on November 16.