Last night’s reading at the Centennial branch of the Toronto Public Library was certainly very different from the one the night before. We had a small (but high-quality!) crowd at the Beaches, Candas and I, in a quiet, intimate setting. At the Centennial branch, Alison Baird (that’s her reading in the picture at right) and I were in a large multi-purpose room packed with more than 100 teens, members of an incredibly popular after-school library group (YAG, it’s called–Youth Action Group, if I remember correctly). They were boisterous, but still generally attentive and they asked great questions. It was fun!
Long way up there from downtown, though. I’d been meaning to take a cab from my hotel, but earlier in the day I had stopped by the Merril Collection, the 64,000-item collection of all things science fiction and fantasy, and when I asked how long I’d need to allow to take a cab up north to Finch and west a few block to the Centennial branch, Lorna Toolis and Annette Mocek and colleagues looked at me like I was nuts and said, no, you take the subway to Finch, then you take the cab. Since the reading was at 5 p.m., the height of rush hour, this was sound advice. Alison took a cab from Union Station and was more than half an hour late getting to the library, so I was glad I’d listened to the Merril librarians. As it was, I was a bit late because I couldn’t find a cab at the Finch station and had to board a westbound bus instead. (This exciting play-by-play is brought to you by the Toronto Transit Authority.)