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Geoffrey Taylor, artistic director of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront in Toronto, loves to read at the table on his 26-foot sailboat. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Geoffrey Taylor, artistic director of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront in Toronto, loves to read at the table on his 26-foot sailboat. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

My books, my place

Geoffrey Taylor's 'floating cottage' Add to ...

Geoffrey Taylor is artistic director of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront in Toronto.

Emily Dickinson wrote that “there is no frigate like a book.” That said, a sailboat is an excellent place to read one.

This photograph was taken aboard Galileo in Toronto's Marina Quay West between my trips to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Melbourne Writers Festival. These two festivals, along with Toronto's, are part of the seven-member-strong Word Alliance.

This time of year, the best place for me to read is aboard my floating cottage in the city. During sailing season, when I'm not working with my colleagues on the upcoming International Festival of Authors (IFOA), you can find me afloat, where there is always time to read a good book.

There are dozens of books waiting to be read on Galileo, in addition to books in the permanent library, which include titles dealing with everything from stargazing to on-the-fly boat repairs (I rewired the boat last year) to tying knots and yachting rules. The rotating books are all currently titles from the upcoming IFOA. They include Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table, Sarah Winman's When God Was a Rabbit, Joe Dunthorne's Wild Abandon, Guy Vanderhaeghe's A Good Man, Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz, Ian Rankin's The Impossible Dead and Miriam Toews's Irma Voth.

Part of being the director of a literary festival means travelling the world, meeting authors and publishers to see and hear what is being read around the globe. Each year the best is brought home for Toronto audiences, so that you too can have books take you places that only the imagination can go.

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