Porcupine’s Quill: News for August

Lately, I’ve rekindled my relationship with a lost love. Which is to say that I’ve recently started to visit the local public library again.

The reasons for our initial break-up are many and varied. It moved (twice) and so did I (four times). There was the period of several months when the library was closed due to a protracted contract dispute—the less said about that the better. And I blush to think of the time I went temporarily insane and purchased a rather alarming number of books with little thought as to the practicalities, like where to store them, or when I’d actually find time to read them.

Long story short, after years of absence, I finally decided to get in touch with the ex, so to speak, and journey back into the loving arms of my erstwhile literary refuge.

children reading

Reunited and it feels so goooood.

I have to say, my baby looked good. Located inside a brand-spanking new civic centre, it features high ceilings, near floor-to-ceiling windows, and shelving that accommodates the needs of those of all physical abilities. But though everything was shiny and new, I found myself nostalgic for the tall stacks of old, and wondering where all the books went. During my most recent trip, I was a bit disappointed to see a small collection populated with tepid thrillers and predictable romances by frighteningly prolific perennial blockbusters. I remember that there was once a far greater selection, and an obvious effort to incorporate timeless classics, obscure-but-fantastic finds and hot up-and-comers. Granted, I can order most anything I might be interested in, via a fourteen-branch inter-library loan system, but the pleasure of browsing, of discovering something new and exciting, was noticeably diminished.

Maybe … maybe you can never go home again—or to one’s home branch, as it were.

Perhaps I’m looking back with rose-coloured glasses when I remember the old library. Perhaps I’m being too quick to judge—maybe I just need to spend more time in the new space in order to discover and appreciate its foibles. Here’s hoping!


What’s happening this month…


With the last books of the spring launched and well on their way to greatness, we’re already hard at work preparing our new fall titles! That’s right, we’ve got five new beauties coming down the pipe starting in September. Catch a peek at what’s coming on our home page.

In Montreal.

Paragraphe Bookstore

Barbara Sibbald is on the road again, this time heading to Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal for a reading of her book, The Museum of Possibilities. She will be joined by a pair of Biblioasis writers: Diane Schoemperlen (First Things First) and Andrée Michaud (Boundary). Be sure to stop in on August 23 for an evening of great stories!

In the world.

August 3 is Grab Some Nuts Day. You may interpret that as you will, but please note that PQL takes no responsibility for said interpretation!

August 17 is National Thriftshop Day. Hit up your local charity shop to make a donation, and probably leave with a bunch of inexpensive books, if we’re being honest.


And finally, August 31 is National Eat Outside Day. Woohoo! Let’s do it! But if there are bees, wasps, mosquitos, or biting/stinging/flying insects of any kind, I reserve the right to flail like a windmill and screech like a stroppy child.


From the porcupette’s corner.

I feel like by now you can probably guess what I’m up to. If we’re starting to talk about fall books … clearly that means I’m starting to think about spring ones!


Getting down to business to defeat the scourge that is tipsheet preparation. Take that, tipsheets. Take that!

That’s right—I’ve been tackling new manuscripts right and left, wrestling them around and preparing those ever-helpful tipsheets and basking in the glow of new and exciting literature. I’m particularly excited this time around as there seems to be a good mix—some poetry, a bit of fiction, a beautiful memoir, some fantastic artwork… It really hits the spot, and I can’t wait until we start sharing next season’s gems.


Well, hate to dump those spoilers on you and run, but I’ve got manuscripts to read and product descriptions to write!

See you soon,

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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.