Simon Reader


The Royal Visit to Ashbridges Bay


As I see it, fair reader, you likely find royal tours either (1) unambiguously thrilling; (2) dull as dishwater; (3) dull as dishwater and thus quite enjoyable. I fall into the third category, which is why I happily agreed to live-tweet Charles and Camilla’s visit to Ashbridges Bay for the Victoria Day fireworks. Here is my Storified account of the experience. [View the story “The...

Darwinian Wonder


Listen to the author read this piece:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.   “Cultivate a superiority to reason, and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!” ~Wilkie Collins, The...

How to Make $100,000 and Infinite Units of Charm


The Victoria College Book Sale—one of the great used book sales put on annually by University of Toronto colleges—is a fine example of how to make $100,000 in a single weekend while turning out vast quantities of enchantment and love. Outside the slick infinity of Googlebooks there is a world of heavy old paper things that we delight in moving about. The spell is cast the moment you walk into the...