Writer’s Words: Iain Reid

Our new weekly feature: Author’s Festival Reflections! Every Wednesday we will feature one of our 2010 scheduled festival authors on our blog who were kind of enough to share their thoughts about this year’s festival.

This weeks author: Iain Reid. He spoke in the Great Books Marquee from 12:00-12:45 in our first “Short But Sweet” segment, and read from his new book One Bird’s Choice published by House of Anansi.


On my walk from the Bed and Breakfast I’d slept at to Queen’s Park I remember noting what an ideal autumn day for an outdoor literary festival.  I hoped others were thinking the same thing.  I stopped en route for a coffee and some type of delicious pastry.  I still arrived well before my scheduled reading.  I’m happy I did.

The extra time allowed me to meet up with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a while.  He’s also a writer.  We were reading at different tents but at the same time.  It meant we couldn’t go and see each other read, but that we were free to stroll around and take in the festival together.  We started at the base of a massive tree in the middle of the park near where my friend locked up his bike.  From there we walked around the outside of the park, along the street, stopping at random stands, buying some books and chatting with strangers.

Later, I read an excerpt from my book, One Bird’s Choice, at the Great Books Marquee where Nathan Whitlock kept everything running smoothly.  It was my first time reading outside (to a group).  I liked it.  I think I’d like all future readings to be outside.  In parks.

After the reading I was brought over to the “signing tent” by a helpful volunteer.  Sitting at the table with a collection of black sharpies and pens lying in front of me, I watched a  line continue to grow and snake out almost as far as the road.  It was becoming a huge line.  It was very impressive to see so many people wanting to get a book signed.  But really I was just impressed with how many people had come out in general, walking around aimlessly, perusing, eating, chatting, enjoying the festivities.  The park was full.  Hundreds, probably thousands of people mingling about because of literacy and books.  It makes for a great day regardless of weather.

I did sign a few books but I kept watching that huge line grow longer.  It was for the booth directly to my right.  It was close, only about five feet away.  Maybe if someone was standing at a certain angle in the park it may have appeared from a distance like the line was for me.  It wasn’t.  David Miller seemed very excited to have drawn such a queue, and was shaking hands and signing copies of his new book passionately.

All in all, a great day.  Thanks to The Word On The Street for having me.


About his Book: One Bird’s Choice is a hilarious memoir by former CBC Radio writer Iain Reid. When Iain lands a job at a radio station near his childhood home, he decides to move back in with his lovable but eccentric parents on their hobby farm. What starts out as a temporary arrangement turns into a year-long extended stay, in which Iain finds himself fighting with the farm fowl, taking fashion advice from the elderly, and ultimately easing (perhaps a little too comfortably) into the semi-retired lifestyle.


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