For a great night out in Toronto, try a book reading!

Toronto is basically the New York of Canada when it comes to literature. Writers from all over the country come to this city to get better at their craft and pitch themselves to publishers. Another thing they do often? Have readings! A reading is a relaxed, interesting and highly intellectual way to spend an evening (usually with wine!) where you can talk about great books, hear some fantastic literature, and mingle with people who all have great taste. For a list of upcoming events, try this!

You go to awesome venues

From the hip and relaxing Victory Cafe to something a bit more solemn and peaceful like the Church of the Holy Trinity, attending a reading really brings out the charm and unique personality of any venue. There’s nothing quite like being in a café after hours where it’s just you and other lit lovers listening to a fantastic speaker, or hearing someone with a great voice tell you a story in an old cathedral. Book readings will definitely take you to places you might not have otherwise gone!

You’ll meet fantastic local authors

By going to events given by the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) you’ll be able to put your finger on the pulse of the literature and writing scene in Toronto. For example, Alissa York, an award-winning author from Toronto, is giving a talk about her new novel, The Naturalist this October! Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell (or the name of other authors), supporting local talent is the first step to a brighter and more vibrant writing culture. Who knows, you may really dig their work as well!

You get an experience that doesn’t happen very often

Remember stories of the old grandfather spinning yarns in front of a fireplace? Or a wise woman telling tales of heroics to an enraptured audience? Well, fast forward a few hundred years and park yourself in a comfortable seat in a bookstore, and it’s essentially the same experience! There’s a charming quality to having someone read to you, even if you have never heard them read before. Humans are a very storytelling-centric species and getting someone to perform a story (because it’s definitely a performance!) for you is a humbling and relaxing experience. Not to mention that most readings are completely free anyway! There’s really nothing to lose!

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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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