Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

SHAUN SMITH'S SUNDAY SUNDRIES

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF INTERNET CURIOSITIES FROM THE BOOK WORLD

DRINKING, SMOKING & READING
How much money do you spend annually on reading (not including school)? Visualeconomics.com informs us that according to the US Department of Labour (sorry, no Canadian stats) the average American spends $118 annually on reading. That's just 0.2% of their income, and the smallest wedge of their annual spending pie, coming in at $205 less than they spend on tobacco and $339 less than booze. And people wonder why writers are poor.

FRENCH LETTERS
According to the Bookseller, France's Minister of Culture Benoît Yvert has been tasked with the less-than enviable challenge of encouraging the French to read more. Who knows, maybe some French writers will become a little less poor.

18%
As reported in the Toronto Star this week, the Canadian Coalition for School Libraries has released a study showing how Ontario schools used a recent $15-million allocation of provincial funds earmarked to buy books for libraries. The conclusion: "only about 18 per cent of the $15 million was spent on Canadian-authored books." Looks like Canadian writers are gonna stay poor.

AWFUL BAD
Two Public librarians in Michigan, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, have launched an entertaining website about awful library books, or as they explain: "The items featured here are so old, obsolete, awful or just plain stupid that we are horrified that people might be actually checking these items out and depending on the information." Hey, I've been looking for a copy of Standard Havens Alpha/Mark 1 Reverse Pulse Baghouse!

AWFUL GOOD
Sci-fi & fantasy publisher Orbit Books has put the call out for help creating an awful book. According to Orbit blogger Alec Lencicki, they are looking for "help coming up with the most ridiculously bad high-concept SFF book cover in the universe." Scroll down on their blog page to read some of the hilarious submissions. My (admittedly puerile) favourite: Uranus is Burning.

FABER & FABER
The Guardian has a gallery of non-awful images from a new book by Joseph Connelly that surveys the history of Faber & Faber book covers. Who could forget Flook by Trog?

SWAMP THANG
Over on comicbookresources.com Brian Cronin has been running a fun blog which he describes as a "year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)!" Today's offering: Swamp Thing #25, by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page