8,000 Words

With the streets already closed around Queen's Park for NuitBlanche, it must have been easier for the setup crew to assemble Word on the Street, the annual book and magazine festival that filled Queen's Park yesterday.

I wonder how many arts-minded, literature-loving Torontonians missed this event altogether because of the all-night art party the previous night. Was this a case of poor planning or purposeful cost-cutting by the city?

I catch up with Rachel Glover (above) who's sitting on the edge of Queen's Park, taking in the late afternoon sun while enjoying her newly acquired book, Ratcatcher by James McGee, which she picked up for just two dollars.

"It's nice to have a venue for everyone to see and appreciate the written word," says Glover, who took in some of the previous night's gallery hopping an revelry, but still made it in time to take in some of the day's activities. Glover got the red balloon sword at the reading of her friend Adrienne Kress' Alex and the Ironic Gentleman kid's book.

A mini photo slideshow and more await you below the jump....

What does it say about our city when perhaps the biggest lineup of over 250 book, magazine and literacy exhibits was at the Mirvish Productions booth, where they're selling 50 percent off tickets to the We Will Rock You musical?

Not everyone at the book fair partook in the galavanting the night before. There were certainly many families present.

Subrata Chakravarti says he and his wife Jayshree Gohain Baruah came to Word on the Street to get books for their six-year-old son and spend more time with family. "I want to get him more exposed to literature and to mix with other kids his age," says Chakravarti. His son, Siddhant Gautam, was enjoying his newest acquisition: a giant, red balloon that he got at the end of the day, courtesy of NOW Magazine.

There appears to be a great thirst for both arts and literature in Toronto. It's no wonder both festivals could thrive in the same weekend.

Photos by Roger Cullman.

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