Word on the Street is an event that is held the last Sunday of September all across Canada. I love going for a lot of reasons, but it's the idea of it that fascinates me. There I am, at the library down the street from my house, enjoying readings, talking to writers and publishers and editors and books designers. I can chat with book makers, with poets, with people who run dozens and dozens of writing organizations, with magazine publishers and literary journal publishers. And I do every single one of these things. I make the rounds of the covered part of the rotunda two or three times to make sure I haven't missed anything. I carefully go through the tents to make sure I've seen everything - and everyone - that's there.
I can enjoy readings from poets and novelists and journalists and childrens' book authors. I can see how a book is made, how a graphic novel becomes one. I can get lucky words and an origami crane from the writers and publishers of Happy Science (as well as two free copies of their magazine). I can have my tarot cards read by a woman who has designed a new deck that includes recipes and her art. I can chat with people who are immersed in fringe worlds of science and health. There are mini-plays and dragon dances. There are giveaways and books to buy.
It's fun, it's entertaining, it's insightful. But most of all it's a community of readers and writers of all ages and all stripes. I love it.
And all of this takes place, rain and shine, in the beautiful confines of the Moshe Safdie designed Central Library. It didn't matter that wind and rain warnings were predicted, the event went on. And it rained buckets and the wind blew is huge gusts - and people still came and came and came.
That's Vancouver for you. A little rain and wind never stops us. And that's readers for you. Nothing stops a reader.