Reader’s Paradise: Salon du Livre

reader Heather O'Neill, Patrick Watson, and Arizona O'Neill. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine

An entire Congress floor of brand new books.

Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?

Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levin
Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine

For readers, the Salon du Livre is paradise. Major publishers from Quebec and a few other locations (France, Switzerland, Ukraine) come with books and recently published authors to delight the lit crowd and those who love them. Along with beautifully published editions are authors ready to sign their name. In addition there are talks with authors and editors, zones for fans of manga and creative arts, and even a Braindate zone to chat with like-minded people about provocative reader-focused topics.

Farah Alibay signs book.
Farah Alibay signs book. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine
people wait in line
Waiting for book signing. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine

If there’s a particular author you’d like to meet, find out when they’ll be appearing on the schedule. Most authors limit their book signing to an hour or two and the most popular find themselves before long lines of gushing fans. Of course, you get to walk out with a book signed by the author… totally worth the wait. And if you know someone who loves a particular author, a signed book is a priceless gift!

I caught Heather O’Neill reading from her most recently published book, When We Lost Our Heads, on the main stage. She was accompanied by her daughter, Arizona, her dog, and Patrick Watson who provided mood piano (on his own piano brought from his house) for each reading. Watson obliged every request for music, whether it was bordello style or toxic. With the dog meandering from chair to chair, it was like dropping in to visit an all-too-real family of creatives.

Book display. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine
books for slae
Les Herbes Rouges. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine
book sellers at congress
Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine

The rest of the Salon was thrumming with fans of books. I was especially struck by how many kids and adolescents had come, and found places to read their new treasures while lying on beanbags. The Salon does a great job creating nooks for people of all ages to enjoy books, whether at tables, on cushions, or tucked away in various corners. There are even spaces to listen to audio books (I’m a huge fan of the audiobook!). Radio Canada’s stage was in full force with a reading, “TNM : Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre“. And, of course, every single exhibitor, from Leméac to VLB to Boréal to Gallimard had shiny new books just waiting to be read in every genre imaginable — poetry, theatre, educational, fiction, non fiction, self-help, cooking… There’s something for everyone.

Radio Canada booth
Radio Canada booth. Salon du Livre. Photo Rachel Levine

The salon until November 27 at Palais de Congrès (201 Av Viger O). Lots more is in store for programming including interviews with les Soeurs Gélinas, Bruno Pelletier, and David Mitchell. Info and tickets are HERE.

About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts