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When it's raining outside - and it often is - Vancouverites turn to a good book. The city is a veritable literary hotspot. More than 1,500 authors live in British Columbia, and the province boasts the highest number of book readers anywhere in the country.  Local literary lions include Douglas Coupland, who topped bestseller lists with his iconic novel Generation X, and science fiction writer William Gibson, credited with coining the term cyberspace. 

Multiple festivals throughout the year celebrate the city's literary scene.  Every October, the Vancouver International Writers Festival - one of North America's premier literary events - brings together internationally renowned authors and more than 14,000 avid readers for six days of readings and interactive workshops.  Meanwhile, the Word on the Street festival, held one weekend each September, showcases Canadian talent, with hundreds of authors, an array of workshops and a marketplace dedicated to Canadian books and magazines. 

Finally, among the best places to dip into the city's literary heritage any time of year is the Vancouver Public Library.  The unmistakable, coliseum-shaped building, opened in 1995 and surrounded by cafes, is a convivial spot for an afternoon of gentle browsing.  While you're there, look out for some of the following titles from Vancouver authors:

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Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

  • December 15 - January 09
  • Firehall Arts Centre
  • 280 Cordova St East
    Vancouver, BC V6A 1L3
  • Admission: Various Prices
  • Phone: 604-689-0926
  • Venue: Firehall Arts Centre
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