I think I made it pretty obvious in my mystery photo blog last Friday that I was incredibly excited about the book fair I was going to attend all weekend. Well, I am happy to report that the book fair did not disappoint. In fact, it far surpassed my expectations, and I came home exhausted but extremely happy, with 13 new autographed books :).
This was the first year for the Inspire Toronto International Book Fair, so I didn’t know quite what to expect, except that there were some amazing authors scheduled to appear. I made the drive to the city and back both Saturday and Sunday, leaving the house at 7am in order to arrive at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre when the doors opened at 9:30am. As my friend, Jan, and I walked into the Fair my jaw dropped because there were books literally everywhere, and the displays were fantastic. For instance, the publishers, Penguin Canada, Random House Canada, and Simon & Schuster all had amazing setups that looked like rooms in a home with books not only filling the shelves in each room but also on coffee tables, bedside tables, and kitchen tables. It’s hard to describe just how wonderfully creative it was, so let me show you.
The areas set up for children had activities for them to do, and adults could relax in any of the other “rooms” to flip through books and choose any they wanted to buy. I thought it was brilliant, yet overwhelming in some respects because I wanted to buy every book I saw LOL!! When I wasn’t listening to authors speak or meeting them to get my books signed, I always found myself wandering back over to the “house” to explore.
This fair was extremely well organized. I knew that we had to get wristbands if we wanted to get a book autographed, but I figured that I would have to line up for a wristband for each author. As a result, I thought that I would spend most of my day in lineups, thereby limiting how many authors I would actually be able to hear speak. However, it turned out that we only had to line up once in the morning to purchase books we wanted signed and to get our wristbands. The wristbands were then good for the whole day, which meant that I was able to see every author that I wanted to see, and there was an incredible variety. If I have one complaint, it was that for most of the signings, you had to buy the book there to get it autographed. Some authors actually did additional signings though where they would sign books you brought from home as well, which was really great. Needless to say, I was on cloud 9 all weekend, and I’m already excited to hear who will be in attendance next year!
Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will post photos of such incredible authors as Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, Margaret Atwood, and Kathy Reichs, just to name a few. They were all so friendly and fascinating to listen to that it made it a weekend I will never forget!