The Porcupine’s Quill: News for June

So I will admit I was a bit late on the whole spring cleaning thing. The days were hot, long and humid by the time I mustered the time and inclination to tackle the annual tidying blitz, so it was with fan running full-tilt that I finally faced my overrun, disorganized and frankly dangerous bookshelves.

I’ve written before about my (not at all dramatic) fear that one day, a heavy hardcover book will one day tumble (or jump) down from its precarious perch on top of my spindly bookshelf and brain me in my sleep. Well, with BookExpo and ALA approaching and the very real possibility of adding a dozen or so books to my unwieldy collection, it became clear to me last week that I needed to start thinking about thinning out the herd.

Keeping things tidy in the bookshelf department. Feels like a metaphor or something.

Naturally, I couldn’t do so without first taking every single book off of five separate bookshelves. I categorized them into fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles, then, in a line snaking down the entirety of the second storey hallway, sorted them alphabetically by author. From there, I managed to pick and choose enough books that I no longer needed to fill two whole boxes. It was a painful process, and there are one or two that I now regret culling from my collection, but in the end, I was very pleased to donate a good number of titles to my local Value Village, whose sales benefit charitable organizations like the Canadian Diabetes Association.

So now, as I look at my tidy, organized bookshelves, I congratulate myself on a job well done … and notice a spot just waiting to be filled by a few new books.


What’s happening this month?


We’re wrapping up our Spring 2017 season—can you believe it? With DA 80 now available and first copies of Plastic shipping any day now, is it possible that we’re finally going to get a break here at the shop? Ha! No way! We’ll be steeped in the process of grant writing, and I myself will be hopping to Chicago and Detroit for some exciting bookish events. Which events are those, you ask? Well, let me tell you…

In Chicago.

We’ll have a table at this year’s Printers Row Lit Fest on June 10 and 11! Stop by for readings, panel discussions and a lively exhibitor marketplace. Come say hello at Table 301—I’d love to see you!

It’s back to Chicago June 24 to 26 for the 2017 American Library Association Conference. If you’ll be attending the conference and you’d like to chat, send me an email at <>. I’d love to meet you!

In Victoria.

Margaret Gracie will launch her debut story collection, Plastic, in the Community Room at the Victoria Central Library on June 22. Stop by to pick up your copy and get it signed by the author!

In Kingston.

Barbara Sibbald will be at Novel Idea in Kingston on June 22 to read from her book, The Museum of Possibilities. She’ll be joined by Diane Schoemperlen (First Things First) and Terry Griggs (The Discovery of Honey).

In Ottawa.

Fresh off her appearance in Kingston, Barbara Sibbald will be back in her hometown of Ottawa to sign copies of The Museum of Possibilities at Perfect Books. Don’t miss this chance to say hello on June 25.

In Toronto.

Next, Barbara is headed to Toronto, to take part in a reading at Ben McNally Books on June 28. She’ll be joined once again by Diane Schoemperlen and Terry Griggs.

In the world.

Don’t forget that June 18 is Father’s Day! Be sure to tell your dad you love him. And if you’d like to get him a book to further communicate the sentiment, we have you covered.

June 22 is Chocolate Éclair Day. Sign me up. ’Nuff said.

And June 29 is Camera Day. Unleash your inner photographer and take some creative snaps. Most of my photos are of books or book events, but maybe this year I’ll branch out into nature.


From the porcupette’s corner.

It has been a fantastic month here at the Porcupine’s Quill, culminating in one of my favourite events of the year—BookExpo. I travelled to New York (for the first time!) to take part in this giant industry trade show that attracts thousands of librarians, booksellers and publishing folk.

So much excitement to be had at the Javits Center during BookExpo. Can you feel the bookish buzz?

This year’s event seemed pretty tame compared to the frantic crowds of years past, but I quite enjoyed the chill pace and the elbow room. I attended a few very interesting panels about the future of the book and new trends in publishing and marketing, and of course, I roamed the show floor talking to anyone and everyone about their most exciting new releases. (Spoiler alert: I’m seeing a lot more books concerned with diversity, quite a few that take on historical settings (both in fiction and non-fiction) and a great many big-name authors coming out with new titles.) The books I found most interesting were Browse: The World in Bookshops edited by Henry Hitchings (Pushkin Press) and the completely fascinating Anima by Wajdi Mouawad (Talonbooks). Definitely buying copies when they come out!


Hope you enjoyed this June update. Looking forward to seeing you all at the various book events coming up this month!


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.