Today I went to one of the many readings at this year’s International Festival of Authors to see Ken Babstock, Peter Behrens, Frances Itani, and Nicole Lundrigan read from their new works. All of the writers selected compelling, tantalizing portions of their work to share with us. With the exception of Frances Itani’s Requiem, which I’d already read, I couldn’t help but want to read more of each work to find out what came before the bit I heard and what happens next.I wasn’t alone either—as one author was drawing to the close of one of her passages, an audience member called out, “Don’t stop. Keep going.”
Good readings do that. They whet your appetite for more. I particularly like events featuring more than one author. It’s usually one author who draws me in, but then I learn about other new (to me) voices that I’ve got to read next.
And since I’ve been thinking about readings today, I thought I’d put together an author-readings roundup for you.
- Rebecca Rosenblum puts us at our ease in her blog post Readings: a user’s guide.
- Deborah M. Prum tells writers How to Give a Good Reading Despite Your Myriad Neuroses.
- Karin A. Bilich asks Are Author Readings/Signings Worth It Any More?
- In the Globe and Mail, Douglas Bell laments: The season of readings is upon us. Let the misery begin.
- And in the National Post, Iain Reid tells us Why there’s still a place in the world for literary readings.
What are your thoughts on readings? Have you been to one? Liked it? Slept? Called out for encores? Share your thoughts on author readings in the comments.