Solo Literary Adventures and other News for June at the Porcupine’s Quill

Many people (including, most stridently, my grandmother) react with shock and dismay when I tell them that I enjoy travelling solo. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good girls’ trip and I remember having a blast on family vacations when I was a kid. But there is something to be said about travelling alone and unencumbered.

frigate bird

In the immortal words of The Beatles, I’m free as one of these little fellas.

Maybe I’m independent, or perhaps I’m just pigheaded, but I have come to appreciate freedom to strike out on my own in a new and unfamiliar city. I can eat when and where I please, strike up conversations with locals or other tourists when the mood strikes, and visit all of the attractions that most appeal to me without having to take into account the potentially disparate tastes of a travelling companion. I can, and have, dedicated an entire day to nothing but the exploration and appreciation of bookstores in a new city. (It was glorious.)

Another thing I’ve discovered about solo travelling is the ability to take advantage of quiet moments. Since you’re going at your own pace, you can take a guilt-free hour or two before dinner to recharge and read a few chapters of a new book you’ve undoubtedly picked up along the way. Plus, any kind of transit is basically a waiting game, and nothing makes a dull plane ride faster than the distraction of a great escapist novel.

With all this opportunity for freedom—literary and otherwise—it’s little wonder that I’ve been so excited with all of the book-related travelling in my calendar for the next few months. Let’s hope that my upcoming trip to Chicago (more on that below!) will provide plenty of opportunity for a little literary tourism.


What’s happening this month…


As you know, last month the shop was a-hopping while Tim and Elke put in a mammoth effort to finish off two important additions to our Spring 2018 list. Ian Hampton’s Jan in 35 Pieces and Mark Frutkin’s The Rising Tide and now in print and available for purchase. This month, look for digital editions of these books for your e-reading pleasure.

In Chicago, IL.

Printers Row Lit Fest

June 9-10 mark this year’s Printers Row Lit Festival, a weekend full of literary events and a book fair with a variety of vendors. We’ll be there with a lovely table full of books for sale at table 226 on Dearborn Street, right in front of Printers’ Row Park.

In Langley, BC.

We’ll be celebrating the first of two launches in honour of the publication of Ian Hampton’s fabulous memoir in music Jan in 35 Pieces. Stop by the Langley Community Music School on June 22 for an evening launch and to pick up your copy.

In Vancouver.

A second event for Jan in 35 Pieces will take place on the afternoon of June 23. This time, the venue will be the Canadian Music Centre in Vancouver. Feel free to attend either event—or both!

In Ottawa.

Pressed Cafe in Ottawa

We’re pleased to host a book launch for Mark Frutkin’s interesting new novel, The Rising Tide at Pressed in Ottawa. Get your copy of the Trillum Book Award-winning author’s latest work of fiction on June 24!

In the world.

June 8 is Best Friends Day, so be sure to get in touch with your bestie and spend a little quality time together. Reading silently on the porch together counts. Just sayin’.

June 10 is Ballpoint Pen Day. Give thanks for that humble little writing implement that revolutionized the way people put ink to paper. Imagine if you had to jot all your notes—or worse, write a novel—with a quill and inkpot, or a messy fountain pen. Preposterous!

On June 21, we’ll be celebrating National Selfie Day. I propose we change it to National “Shelfie” Day and focus on taking pictures of our bookshelves … which, when you think about it, really do say a lot about a person.


From the porcupette’s corner…

I can happily report that I am now best friends with my scanner. We’ve had a lot of quality time together over the last few weeks and I am beginning to believe we have a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. At the very least, we’ve taken on a couple of important projects, which will hopefully come to fruition very soon. Stay tuned!

In other news, I feel like I’m zooming in and out of my office this week. I’m just back from a fun and fascinating trip to New York for BookExpo, and with only a few days to catch up on all the things that have accumulated on my desk, I’m off to Chicago for the Printers Row Lit Fest. No rest for the weary!


PortraitThanks for checking in to see what’s hip and happening at the Porcupine’s Quill these days. We hope to see you at our cool upcoming events!


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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.