Vancouver Book Renaissance: Update from a Literary Outpost (@seancranbury)

Monique Trottier with iPad.


If the joy of literature lies in the new ideas it offers readers, the interactive, curatorial nature of the web makes it a perfect place for books to flourish.

For all of the BookMadam readers who don’t get the free Vancouver weekly arts magazine, the Georgia Straight, here’s an update on what’s happening out here in Lotusland books-wise.

The ongoing death spiral is being beaten back. Books, readers, publishers and writers are finding new veins of opportunity and enthusiasm in our city.

From the arrival of Amazon and Chindigo in the mid-90’s to mass closing of local independent bookstores in the past 10 years to the closure of Raincoast’s publishing arm just after the boy prince finished with his magic in 2008 to the last Duthie store and Sophia Books shuttering earlier this year, it’s been about 15 years of bad news.

But no longer… there’s new optimism in Vancouver as a result of hard work, persistence and… what’s this?… building online communities via social media and activating them with gatherings and events IRL!

Shocking, I know.

The article is written by Jackie Wong. I met Jackie during the W2 Real Vancouver Writers’ Series that was curated during the Winter Olympics this year and we met again during the Joyland Vancouver Summit later in the spring.

Both times she was excited by the great crowds attending both events and the enthusiasm with which the audience supported the writers. It was something new to her in her experience of literary events in Vancouver.

This piece is very satisfying on many levels and I hope that people will continue to see Vancouver as a place that produces and supports some of the best creative literary talents in the world.

To read the whole piece go here: Vancouver Book Scene Reshaped by Online Communities.

Sean Cranbury is the Executive Editor of Books on the Radio. He's also Founder and Creative Director of the Real Vancouver Writers' Series. Sean is General Manager at the legendary Storm Crow Tavern and consults with literary arts organizations on digital communications strategies.

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