salon du livre de Montréal
Montreal’s Francophone Book Fair to feature English Canadian publishers
By Luc Archambault
This year marked the 39th edition of Le Salon du Livre de Montréal. It was, as in previous years, a resounding success. More than 112,000 visitors made the pilgrimage to Place Bonaventure. This year, the invited country was Mexico. Many publishing houses from this Latin American country were thus present, presenting their magnificent books to Montrealers. In 2013, the country of honour had been Haiti. And for next year, Gilda Routy, Chairman of the Board for the Salon du Livre, remains evasive. She wants to keep the surprise a bit longer… But she mentioned that the Salon will include a new English section dedicated to Canadian publishers, to better serve the other solitude and open up the Salon to the important Anglophone population of Greater Montreal, in an invitation to share a common love – books.
…next year… the Salon will include a new English section… (to) open up the Salon to the important Anglophone population of Greater Montreal…
A noteworthy fact: one of the Salon’s objectives has always been to foster curiosity and to awaken teenage interest towards literature. This year, teens were invited to create a video on site, to promote their favourite book or author. In fact, the Salon du Livre de Montréal is a privileged venue where readers can meet their favourite authors, a peculiarity lost on many international Book Fairs, maintained for and existing mostly to foster the business aspects of publishing. This Book Fair, according to Madame Routy, is more than a mega-bookstore; by the mere presence of authors, of round-tables and interviews on the main stage, the Salon places importance on warmth and conviviality to distinguish itself from venues reserved for the publishing elite.
The Salon du Livre de Montréal is the venue par excellence to discover local writers and their books, as well as the numerous québécois authors. From the most celebrated to the most obscure, everybody will be able to find their author of choice, and at the same time, have access to his/her entire body of work (well, almost…)
An important detail to remember: the weekdays at the Salon are devoted to school visits. Even though their numbers are limited to a total of 18,000 youth, an average of 6,000 per day might intimidate older visitors. But once these hordes have passed, the Salon returns to a state of leisurely pasture where discoveries are easily accessible. The Salon has generously late opening hours. So a visit is a must for anyone who loves literature.
It seems that its death to electronic publishing has been prematurely advertised… Not only does the publishing world remains in good health, but it is constantly rejuvenating itself, and the multiplicity of the books offered is more than mind-boggling. See you next year!
Images: courtesy of Le Salon du Livre.
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.