After a disastrous year for this city’s quickly vanishing bookstores, Toronto bibliophiles have at least one thing to be optimistic about: a new literary festival. Filling the void left by the defunct BookExpo Canada, the weekend-long Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair has a packed inaugural schedule. Apart from an array of writers’ workshops and events, the fest offers readings and appearances from 400 Canadian and international authors, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid creator Jeff Kinney, Saskatchewan Métis writer Lisa Bird-Wilson and local food writer David Sax. One of the main attractions, though, is a Saturday appearance by CanLit hero Margaret Atwood. She’ll be presenting her short story collection Stone Mattress for the first time in Canada. Appearing earlier in the day will be cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson, supporting The Peripheral. Also on the main stage on Saturday: romance writer Sylvia Day, with the New York Times bestseller Bared to You. For those who believe the author is dead, there will also be dozens of exhibitors selling actual books.
Sat. Nov. 15. $15. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. 255 Front Street W., 647-775-8181, torontobookfair.ca.