Authors and autographs for book-lovers

Consumers may be starting to shun books in favour of tablets and e-readers, but bookstore chain Indigo Books & Music Co. continues to give shoppers reasons to visit its stores.

Indigo regularly holds events at its stores featuring the authors of new and popular books. The writers come in to meet fans, sign books, and in some cases, to speak to the crowd and answer questions about their latest work.

These events have been happening for a few years now, but I continue to be impressed by the high profile names that the company has attracted to participate – Bill Clinton, William Shatner, Jann Arden and Randy Bachman, to name a few.

Margaret Atwood speaks with Matt Galloway about her book Payback at the Indigo store at the Manulife Centre.

Most recently, Indigo hosted renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood at its Manulife Centre store to discuss her latest book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, and the new documentary based on the book.

Atwood spoke with Matt Galloway, host of the CBC radio show Metro Morning, about the key themes of the book and the process of translating these themes from paper to film.

Since Atwood is one of my favourite Canadian writers, I jumped at the opportunity to see her speak and to have her sign my copy of Payback. Hearing authors discuss their work, I find, helps me to appreciate their talent even more. And this event was no exception. Atwood provided some interesting insight into the book and the inspiration behind it.

The only problem with events like this one is that they tend to be a little too popular – especially since they’re free. Atwood attracted such a large audience last week that there weren’t nearly enough seats for the sizeable crowd, and there’s limited standing room in the busy store.

Since my friend and I didn’t arrive early enough to beat the crowds, we were stuck standing for the duration of the event in a small, crowded space at the back of the room with dozens of other onlookers.

So, if you plan to attend any of Indigo’s other events – and there are plenty – my advice is to arrive early.

Here are a few upcoming events at Indigo stores in Toronto:

> Nicholas Sparks will be making an appearance at the Yorkdale location on April 5th at 7 pm, to sign copies of his latest novel The Lucky One

> The founders of the MTV reality series The Buried Life, Dave, Duncan, Jonnie and Ben, will appear at the John and Richmond Chapters store on April 10th at 7 pm to talk about their new book What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?

> Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, will chat with Indigo boss Heather Reisman at the Manulife Centre location on April 11th at 7 pm about his first novel, Monday Mornings

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