In 2010 we want…Books

More bookstores, less online buyingLook, I get that buying online is convenient and cheaper. So, sure, snap up the occasional.

More bookstores, less online buying

Look, I get that buying online is convenient and cheaper. So, sure, snap up the occasional title via your computer. But don’t let another independent bookstore go down in 2010. Pages bit the dust, and now the Toronto Women’s Bookstore is in deep trouble and desperately seeking donations (go to to help out). Get out there and spread the wealth.

More cool book events, fewer readings

International Festival of Authors director Geoffrey Taylor’s eyes glaze over when I tell him this, but more and more, readings are losing their lustre. Kudos to Pages’ This Is Not A Reading Series for its creative programming – interviews, music, panels – and to Taylor and the Authors Fest for noticing the trend and adding variation to its events.

More contemporary urban Canadian fiction, fewer historical novels

Here’s an urgent call to our nation’s novelists to lose their obsession with historical fiction. Not that works set during key moments in our history are bad. It’s just that we need more gritty works reflecting our urban landscape and its characters. Don’t leave it to skilled novelists Zoe Whittall (Holding Still For As Long As Possible, Anansi), Rawi Hage (Cockroach, Anansi) and Dionne Brand, whose What We All Long For (Random House) remains the standard bearer, to take our cities seriously.

More Canadians, fewer Brit snobs on our juries

Giller jurist Victoria Glendenning embarrassed herself and the prize by trashing CanLit in the Financial Times – while she had the jury gig. Got a beef with our scene? Stay off our juries.

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