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May 06, 2008


As always, I enjoy learning through your eyes; in this case some of the differences in Canadian and US book publishing. I'm not sure if the subsidies can be blamed for lower book sales. Canada's population is a lot smaller, and that is a big factor in sales numbers. Also, when the big online booksellers came into the market, there was a huge loss in independent small booksellers who could not get the same breaks in book returns. This also affected many publishers in Canada who no longer exist. I'm not sure of this but I get the sense that there are fewer Canadian books being published than two or three decades ago.

Struggle and competition are highly overrated; what doesn't kill you takes years off your life. As an ambition-challenged writer myself, I'm wondering if we shouldn't start a program to introduce more Canadian writers to the blogsphere. Think we could get a government subsidy for that? :)

Hi Beth!!

Marja-Leena, you're quite right about the numbers, thanks for pointing that fact out! In Quebec, the situation may be different than in Canada as a whole, as far as the trend in numbers of books published, because there has been such a push to support French-language writing; I'm pretty sure I read that many more French-language books are being published here than in the past, and that volume actually outstrips readership. Montreal is, no doubt, an anomaly - living here, you'd think everyone in the world was an avid reader because books are always in the news and at the center of events.

Dave - right! That's what I was thinking, actually - have no idea how though! It feels much more old-fashioned here.

Siona - great to hear from you!

I'm not surprised about Montreal, Beth. I think it may be culturally the richest city in Canada. Quebec is known to support the arts including literature far more than any other province, and that shows.

I've just wandered upon your blog. Love your picture of Vermont. I don't know if this will work or not--leaving my comment--but will try it.

Hi Kate - Of course it worked! Welcome, bienvenue! If you keep reading you will find, I think, a somewhat similar writing voice to your own, and another woman's journey into place and spirit. I absolutely love what you are writing on your new blog - it's fascinating and beautifully, sparely written. You've gained yourself another reader -- and former neighbor, I suspect, at least in the same general vicinity. Keep going!!

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