So. Keep Toronto Reading month. All well and good. Then there was the fractured tale of those 99 blank journals. Were they scattered at 98 locations across the city and also at exactly one library branch? Because if so, I found it:

Share the Love notebook and ballpoint pen

Where at? Gerrard-Ashdale.

But this didn’t make any sense. Surely the nice upper-middle-class petit(e)s fonctionnaires of the Toronto Public Library would not really “fan out” across the city, leaving a blank journal and a ballpoint pen inside, say, Jilly’s, the Empire Club, the Price Chopper on Dupont, the TV lounge at Spa Excess, the ghetto Dufferin 29 bus, one of the ladies’ changing rooms at Holts, any of several Italian and Portuguese “gentlement’s clubs” on Dundas, the TV Shows on DVD racks at HMV, the sole remaining Fran’s, a Tamil grocer on Parliament, Sporting Life, and any of those places they’d never heard of before because they are located north of Sporting Life? Plus somewhere I guess maybe in Scarborough just for diversity’s sake?

Cross-referencing various news reports and press releases, I learned that the books all started out at library branches. What a charming upper-middle-class idea, just right for charming upper-middle-class people, who in this city are well known for their forthrightness, initiative, outgoingness, and willingness to spontaneously share their thoughts in a book they found somewhere that had already been handled by God knows who.

Now imagine what would have happened if, say, on every 44th seat at a few dozen high schools one found a notebook bearing nothing on its cover but an URL. Which of these would enjoy a higher response rate?

I personally won’t so much as initial a cashback receipt at Loblaws with a ballpoint pen, so I guess I’m not in the target market.