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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Mar 22, 2006

The Rockcliffe Park Book Fair is one of the oldest, biggest, best used-book sales in Ontario, if not Canada. It's a veritable institution. Book dealers travel across the country every year to cash in on the great deals. More than 3500 volunteer hours go into the making of it annually (other schools boast when they get six hundred over the course of a year). Twenty six thousand books were sold last year with the same number left over.

The Book Fair is organized with precision and good humour. It takes place during the first week of November each year and always comes off in style. Too bad the people behind it (most of them are women) don’t run the country. Maggie Knaus, an exuberant book-lover, mother of two and professional photographer, was the ideal choice to chair the 2006 Fair.

We met at my apartment, located near the school in Ottawa's Rideau-Rockcliffe neighborhood, to talk about the history of the Fair, how it operates, some of the events that support it, long-time volunteers, where the leftovers end up, well-known visiting authors, and excited kids.