I absolutely love this time of the year. Toronto’s Word on the Street is such a favourite among those who love the written word and unlike last year where it was rainy and cold, this year it was just mildly chilly. Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) and I headed downtown and got some Starbucks for sustenance before heading over to Queen’s Park. Neither of us had anything specific in particular that we had to see, and we were looking forward to just wandering through the festival and seeing what there was to see and buy. We entered through the Kids’ area (which was already lively with some fun shows for the children on the TVOKids stage). Right where the road splits we came across the Harper Collins booth wit some Allegiant and Hobbit festivities including a fun photo booth which we had to try! (See below for our pic). We also picked up an awesome Allegiant tote bag with some goodies, and a shiny poster, in preparation for the final installment of the Divergent trilogy that’s out October 22nd. Harper also had, as they do every year, a fantastic section with all books $3 or less – which meant it was pandemonium. A few other bloggers that we met up with later got some great finds but there were way too many people and so I didn’t find the ones I was looking for.
Continuing on we walked by the Toronto Star tent just after the noon hour, which was one panel I was mildly interested in checking out which was the one with Irene Gentle, David Rider and Robyn Doolittle talking about the Mayor and the Year at City Hall. Jenn and I stayed for a bit before heading off (and apparently right when we started heading out, there was a comment about the infamous video and everyone broke out into laughter). The next tent was the Remarkable Reads tent which was where Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, was speaking. This was where we found all our other fellow bloggers gathered. Wendy (@_CupcakeQueen_), Avery (Avery’s Book Nook), Ashley (Book Labyrinth), Christa (More Than Just Magic), Angel (Mermaid Vision), Rhiannon (Diary of a Bookworm), Tiff (Mostly YA Lit), Audrey (Holes in My Brain), Léonicka (Léonicka.com) and newly-met Indigo (Adventures in YA Fiction)! (*phew*.. am I missing anyone??) While standing there we did bump into author Teresa Toten as well as Lindsey from Random House. The Remarkable Reads tent was the place to be, it seem! Elizabeth did a book signing afterwards and she was so gracious to spend time chatting with everyone and while the wait in line was long, it gave us all a chance to catch up and chat.
People dispersed afterwards and Audrey and I ended up being unexpected Word on the Street buddies all afternoon which was so fantastic! I’ve only seen Audrey a few times at events and never a chance to hang out for a long period of time so this was super nice. Her and Tiff joked that I seemed to know everyone because we kept stopping all throughout our walk for me to introduce her to people. 😛 And speaking of meeting more people, we wandered over to the Vibrant Voices tent so we could sell hello to Ardo (A.A. Omer’s The Fangirl Who Reads), who was volunteering at the event.
At one point, I bumped into an old university friend of mine and – I want to make this clear – we were NOT inside the Nothing But The Truth tent. We were about halfway between that and the neighbouring booth. So we’re chatting when a woman sitting in the middle of the audience area of the tent came out to tell us to take our chatting elsewhere. And then walked back to her seat giving the people around her a self-satisfied smile and nod. First of all, it’s a public space and out in the open where everyone around us is talking as well. Secondly, we’re not the one that’s mic-ed! The person speaking is in front of a microphone! Thirdly, and it’s besides the point, but I do not speak loudly to begin with. It’s fine, I get it if we were sitting inside the booth right next to you and chatting. Of course, that’s annoying. But we’re outside where people are walking by and talking. Maybe this is due to the set-up of the tents. Two years ago, the tents with the speakers were on the grassy area in the centre of the festival, so it’s at least a bit removed from the crowd on the street, but if your tent is right on the strip where everything else is and hundreds of thousands of people are walking by? You can’t expect nobody to talk when they walk around. And given the level of irritation from that woman, I have a feeling she’s been “policing” this all day.
Nonetheless, we moved along and Audrey and I headed back through the festival to wind down our day. Bumped into someone I work with (who was there with his wife & adorable son) before we parted ways and I caught back up with Jenn to get some food and head home. Overall a chilly, but thankfully not rainy, day full of literature and love of books. Oh, and surprisingly? Jenn and I didn’t buy a single thing all day! (Not that we ever really “need” to buy more books……… :oops:)
Word on the Street is a book & magazine festival that’s held in 5 cities across Canada. Check out their website for more information.