Forthcoming book on the end of the weekend

So I’m working on a new non-fiction project about the weekend and no, I don’t mean the rapper The Weeknd. My book will be filled with “e”s. 48: On Taking Back the Weekend in a 24/7 World will also be a look at how we lost those 48 hours of respite that used to punctuate the end of each week. A few clues: the end of organized labour; the phone on which you are reading this; the rise of the “knowledge economy.” What does it mean when work bleeds into every corner of our lives, taking over the time we once savoured for human connection, and the tending of our best selves? I’m interested in Aristotle’s definition of leisure as a time outside servile obligation –a necessity of civilized existence. What if we don’t have that time anymore? Who do we become?

The good news is it turns out there are a lot of experts, gurus, CEOs, academics and regular people who have figured out how to protect the weekend, and they’re living better because of it. This book is about how 48 hours can trigger real, profound changes, in our lives and our world.

I’d love to hear from you about this. Drop me a line.

Authors for Indies is upon us!

Authors for Indies is upon us! This Saturday, May 2, 600 writers are going to be hanging out (lurking, one might say) in 100-plus independent bookstores across Canada. We’re there not just to bag and tag but to talk up our favourite titles and generally spread the indie bookstore love.

I’ll be at Type Books (883 Queen St. West) 10am-Noon, and U of T Bookstore (212 College St., St. George Campus), 1-3pm. I’ve already chosen my Must Read picks (sneak peek: Rachel Cusk, Jeff Lemire and…Ha! You’ll have to come to find out the rest, suckahs!) and would love to hear yours.

Now, a nostalgic pro-bookstore interlude: After a terrible first year of university, I dropped out, retreated to my hometown of Vancouver, and took a job at Blackberry Books. It’s still the best job I ever had. Being paid to talk and think about books, to handle and stack them and stealthily rearrange the displays to showcase my favourites… I was drunk with power! And I earned enough to backpack through Asia for many months, with a list of books I needed to read if I was ever going to survive this university thing.  So I sucked back book after book, and eventually returned to school. There, I worked at the McGill Bookstore as a “bar code chick,” printing bar codes and hauling boxes in the windowless basement deep below the stacks. Second best job. I got excellent pecs, a discount on textbooks, and worked with the smartest, funniest people who ever dwelled beneath.

I just looked up Blackberry Books and it turns out it closed its doors last fall. When I worked the cash so long ago, there were three locations in Vancouver. We’ve all noticed the shrinking number of bookstores. So much thought and revelation is lost in their absence. Please come out on May 2 to support your local bookstore and meet some fantastic authors. What would we do without these places to grow us?