"We all know books burn -- yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory... In this war, we know books are weapons."
Word on the Street 2017: Sunday, September 24th. Meet at 1pm. We'll meet by the Power Plant Art Gallery steps, where we released books last year. It's fun to watch "from aways off" as people flock to free books - with puzzlement on their faces. And, every single book gets snapped up! You can PM me for more info. https://thewordonthestreet.ca/---/toronto
Word on the Street 2017: Sunday, September 24th. Meet at 1pm. We'll meet by the Power Plant Art Gallery steps, where we released books last year. It's fun to watch "from aways off" as people flock to free books - with puzzlement on their faces. And, every single book gets snapped up! You can PM me for more info. https://thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/
Thanks! We've done this for almost 10 years. It's a huge book & literary festival - every kind of book and magazine, comics, there are booksellers and authors come and do book talks. The big publishers are there (i.e. Penguin, Simon & Schuster) and offer good bargains on books.
Well, nothing like your book fair, that's for sure, but the first time we tried our mass release, we covered 2 benches then stepped back and watched. But we find that the mass release format is better than individual releases. Because the event is outdoors and tons of people are wandering around, it is easy (and fun!) to just watch as people stroll by, stop, and take books! That first time, a tv guy stopped and interview Bookgirrl as she was placing the books! The venue has changed since that first time, a few years ago. Now it is held down at the waterfront so we use the top of a retaining wall, which has worked nicely the past 2 years.
I would say we released 30 - 40 books in 2016. The fun part, every one gets snapped up. People don't seem so hesitant with a bunch of books, vs. finding one random book in a public place. The most fun is standing a little ways away, so we don't appear connected to the books at all, and just watching people. It's a true human behaviour moment!
LOL, my Mom (Bucklesbook) used to release a book, then she'd go sit a little distance away on a bench and knit, and just watch what would happen. Oh...the furtive glances, the picking up/putting back down/picking up again...she got such a kick out of watching urban human behaviour.
I remember fondly the time I was able to join you at WOTS when I was in TO visiting my daughter and future son-in-law. They've been married for some years now, so it was quite a while ago. But I knew my daughter had picked a good one when her beau, quite enthusiastically, spent the day with us a Queen's Park.
Waving hi!! It was such fun to meet you back then! Are they still living in Toronto?
The venue for Word on the Street has changed, the last few years. It is now down at Harbourfront. Personally, I think Queen's Park was the best venue of all but nobody asked me!
Our weather forecast for the entire next week continues to be decidedly summer-like, with sun and temps in the high 20s C. In all the years of WOTS, I can't remember when it was ever bad and though it sprinkled one year, that I recall, it was never rained out.
If you ever come back at this time of year (or any time, actually), do let us know and we will plan a meetup!
Hmm, any chance of a convention bid coming out of your fair city ? (hint, hint...)
Yes they are still in Toronto and I do get there now and then. I have to check on my room! (When my two girls were younger and ready to be leaving home, I jokingly told them that one of them had to be prepared to look after me in my dotage. Sweet young things that they were back then, they both agreed that each would take me in for six months of the year. So over the years, whenever I visit either of them, I casually confirm that I'll be staying in "my room". Oddly neither of their partners have objected to this plan and in fact when they bought their current homes, they were quick to assure me that there was a room for me!)
So heck, I'm planning on being a Toronto BookCrosser for 6 months of the year eventually. Until then, I'll definitely let you know when I come to town. It would be great to have a meet-up!
We also have quite a few LFLs here in the city. I discovered yet another one last week. I've actually found some pretty cool books in them and also try to leave at least one or two whenever I take one out. And we also have an active OBCZ at our regular meetup hangout
Daughter #2 lives in Calgary, so there's lots of traveling one way or the other for us all. Coincidentally both girls were in Winnipeg this past weekend and at least one of them will be here for Christmas.
Winnipeg boasts a goodly number of LFLs too - over one hundred that I know about. There are several within walking distance of both daughters' homes, so that's one of the first things I do when I visit - map out a walk to visit as many LFLs as I can. Got hopelessly lost in Calgary, the first time I did that. I had to resort to my phone for directions home. It was clear I'd gone a bit off my path when my helpful phone lady said "Turn left in 800 metres!"
event. Bookgirrl will weigh in on this later as she was there when it happened and I wasn't, but apparently, some *rules* have either changed or simply just been invented and it seems we are no longer allowed to give away free books, although we have been doing this for years.
Initially, as we were setting up the book, there was one passer-by in particular among the many who stopped, who expressed real interest in bookcrossing, and seems likely to sign up. Of course, we shall see but in the end no books were left for us to take home so maybe we will get some JEs soon. Hopeful....
It was also hotter than hell today (34C with a humidex making it feel like 41C) and being at the waterfront did nothing to cool things down at all. Rather odd for a late September day, that's for sure!
That same thing happened to us at Howard Community College Book Festival that MaryZee used to chair. She did it for many years and then BookCrossing was uninvited. Don't let that deter you, though. You need to find a better venue. Perhaps a smaller book event. Two festivals that we do (Kensington International Day of the Book, Gaithersburg Book Festival) LOVE us because we attract fairgoers who come back year after year to visit our booth. I personally don't think we interfere with sales at all. In fact, we often have authors give us free copies of their books to BookCross once they understand what it is. I have found that we are better received if we confine our books to our booth rather than set them out at random. Do NOT stop doing this. I find the book festivals are the most fun BookCrossing events of the year. Let me know what happens in the future.
We don't randomly spread them around. We usually put all of them together in one spot. When it used to be at Queen's Park (where our municipal parliament buildings are), that location is a huge park, lots of trees, grass, etc. We'd pick one or two benches that are next to each other, and set all the books out on the benches. A mass release. Then we'd step back and watch. It was fantastic.
At this current venue at Harbourfront, there are no benches so we line the books up on the retaining wall. Still, for the past couple of years, it was fine. And as you say, what we are doing truly does not interfere with any vendors.
Hehe. Bookgirrl did just that! She gathered up the remaining books, found a bench outside the *official* perimeter of the venue, a bench on the public sidewalk, not on actual Harbourfront property, and lined them up there. By the time we left, all the books were gone.
We'll figure it out for next year, not to worry. Bookcrossers are nuthin' if not creative! :-)
Just to follow up: We have always found that people seem more comfortable with picking up a book, or books, when they see a group of them. Some kind of psychology there (I don't' know, I never took it in school). And, this year, after we took the books over to the bench (99% of people take transit/TTC, so they'd be getting off the streetcar right where the bench is) - I got quite a few Journal Entries. In fact, I got the most I've ever received after a wild book release at WOTS!