I’m excited to announce a little added feature to the blog this year, in the form of Julie Wilson, author of Seen Reading! Not only is Julie attending WordFest for the first time, but she’ll also be adding a daily post about what people around the festival and Calgary are reading.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Seen Reading is a collection of stories based on the original blog of the same name, which from 2006-2011 cataloged sightings of people reading in public, usually on the Toronto subway. But instead of just noting what people were reading, Julie takes things one step further, and writes microfictions inspired by what she sees.
Also known as ‘The Book Madam,’ Julie is a self-professed “professional publishing fan” living in Toronto and working in media and publishing. She’s the past Online Marketing Manager for House of Anansi Press, past Host of the CBC Book Club, and present host of 49thshelf.com.
When I first heard of Julie’s book and website, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I always enjoy taking part in what Julie calls “literary voyeurism,” by checking what others are reading. If I’m at somebody’s house, I’ll scan the bookshelves to see what they’re reading, have read, or plan to read. If I’m on the train, at the airport, or at the beach, I’ll make a point of finding out what everybody I see reading has in their hands. In the Bahamas this past April I was fascinated to see just how many people were actually reading Fifty Shades of Grey; it had to be well over 50% (I was reading The Recognitions, I swear!).
Besides taking part in two events, Julie will also being hanging around different WordFest events to talk to Calgarians about what they’re reading and what they enjoy about WordFest. So if you’re at a WordFest event with a book in hand (as many are), don’t be surprised if you’re approached by The Book Madam! Check the blog and follow #seenreading and #wordfest2012 on twitter each day, to see where Julie will be for your chance to be ‘seen reading.’
Welcome to WordFest and to Calgary, Julie!