Booky Thoughts and Me

Book reviews and pondering thoughts of a down to earth person

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Book Vending Machine

I recently saw a post at the Toronto’s The Star website and it piqued my interest. It’s about a book vending machine of all things! Can’t decide what to read? Slide in a toonie and a random book will pop out! It’s located at the Monkey’s Paw book store and the machine is a re-telling of the tale of the Monkey’s paw- be careful what you wish for because it might happen. The book vending machine is solid so you can’t see what you are choosing so it is really a mystery.

I find this idea quite fascinating. I mean they have vending machines for junk food, healthy food, a variety of items and now books! Now you don’t have to search out a book store but can instead go find a vending machine that has books. There have been book vending machines popping up everywhere, so there is boound to be one crossing your path sooner rather than later.

Kudos to the creators for thinking and making this idea a reality.

What do you guys think? Have you ever ran across one of these machines?


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Toronto chocolate show

Who doesn’t love overindulging in chocolate? I went to a chocolate show at the Roy Thomson Hall with a few people to see what it was all about. Imagine a place where every few steps there is a table with chocolate that can be sampled. Milk chocolate , dark chocolate , chocolate with nuts , with fruit, melting chocolate, fondue chocolate. Let’s just say that we binged on way too much chocolate and didn’t care about the calories.

I got to say that despite tasting delicious and decadent chocolate, the show itself was a disappointment. There weren’t that many areas of interaction and it didn’t encourage you to stay for the entire day. You could taste and circle the hall in about an hour and be ready to head out. I wish there were workshops or something to interact with the audience. There were a few but definitely not enough. I don’t think I will be coming back to this particular event next year, especially for what it is priced.



A Dedication To The Library

I want to dedicate this post to all the libraries that exist around the world. They could be really small or they can be really big. Without the existence of the library I would be lost, and broke. Throughtout the years, I have been able to discover so many different authors and writing styles,  travel to so many worlds that I did not know existed and discover a group of people that are just like me. Reading might be a solitary activity, but what comes after is far from it.

I still remember when I went from just a casual, (do I have to read this book) to a voracious (the next one is coming out next year? I can’t wait that long!) reader. It was back in the summer of 2002. My mom gave me a book to read and keep myself occupied. It was Elizabeth Lowell’s Where The Heart Is. I took it with reluctance and began to read. The afternoon turned into evening and evening turned into night. I finished it the very next day and something happened. To this day, I don’t know what happened to make me want to read and read, for enjoyment and pleasure. But whatever it was, I am greatful for it.

Being a teenager, I didn’t have a lot of money  and the library was a haven for me. I  could take out whatever books I wanted and how many I wanted. Sometimes I took out 10 or 15  at a time and it was just a dream. I was in heaven. As time passed and I blossomed into an adult, I still used the library frequently.  I bought books as well, but if I bought all the books that I have taken out from the library, I think I would need a separate house just to put all the books there.

So to all the libraries that I have ever frequented and the ones that I haven’t, yet, thank you. You have been my saviour more than once when I thought my life was over. Keep on inspiring others to become readers and giving them the gift of a different world and literacy.

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Word on the Street

The bad weather didn’t stop people from attending.
Photo courtesy of Word on the Street

It was a blistery, cold and miserable day this past Sunday, but that didn’t stop me from heading out to enjoy Word on the Street, the book and magazine festival at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

This year I took it up a notch and not only did I attend, but I was also a volunteer for the festival. I helped out the hosts and authors at the Workshop Marquee tent where I was stationed at. I was also able to listen in and take in the sessions as well. A lot of the sessions were very beneficial for me since I am an aspiring writer.

The sessions ranged from how not to get published, getting a book to become a best seller, critiquing the audiences pieces of work and many more. Depending on what the session was about, the authors held the audience’s attention with a tight fist. Some sessions had a few people listening and attending, while others were packed with no seating left over and the tent surrounded.

The next best thing was the rows and rows of books that were on display, awaiting their new owners. It was like they were screaming ‘pick me, pick me’ 🙂 Ahh it just made me smile seeing so many books out. As a book lover, this is one of my favorite festivals to attend. There is just so much to do and see, and there is never enough time. I wish they would extend it to make it a two day event, but they have been doing this for the past 20+ years, so I doubt they will change it. I guess I should find a way to clone myself once or twice over so that I can see all the sessions I want, go to all the booths I want and just enjoy the festival 🙂 hehe.

Another great thing was seeing familiar faces. I saw so many industry professionals that I know, former classmates that I went to school with and who now work in the industry and professors who taught me. The book publishing industry is a small industry so once you know a few people, you meet a few more and you eventually know a lot of people. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy seeing everyone again.

Great success Word on the Street! I can’t wait until next year’s event.