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MaBiblioNumérique: An Introduction

April 2, 2015 | Susan | Comments (0)

MaBiblioNumérique is a new French language eBook provider for adults, children, and teens. It just became available at the Toronto Public Library in mid-March, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you more about it. If you happen to speak French, I recommend Toronto Public Library's En français blog, which has a very informative introduction to MaBiblioNumérique. If, however, you just started learning French, or are trying to help a native French speaker download an eBook, I've compiled this information (in English) to help get you started.

You can access MaBiblioNumérique from the Toronto Public Library website by navigating to either Downloads & eBooks or A - Z List of All Databases.

MaBiblioNumérique Access Online

Once you've logged in with your Toronto Public Library card and PIN, you'll find yourself on a page that looks like this:

MaBiblioNumérique Home Page

If you prefer to access MaBiblioNumérique in English, click on the 'ENGLISH' button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. I've circled it in red in the screenshot above.

Now, you're ready to find some reading material!

Most titles on MaBiblioNumérique are from Canadian publishers in Quebec: Alto, Boréal, Cornac, Druide, Hurtubise, Le Quartanier and Québec Amérique. Some of the titles also come from Canadian francophone publishers outside of Quebec: Bouton d'or Acadie, Éditions David (Ottawa), Éditions Prise de parole (Sudbury), Éditions des Plaines (St-Boniface), Éditions Perce-Neige (Moncton), Éditions La Grande Marée (Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick). Some European titles can also be found on MaBiblioNumérique, with more coming later this year. 

To find a title, you can either browse through the 'Categories', use the search box, or use the 'Advanced Search', as seen below. There are also new and featured titles, which you can find on the home screen.

Advanced Search

Once you've found a book you'd like to read, click on the 'BORROW' button. 

Abby by Sylvie Marcoux

Here are a few things you need to know about borrowing items from MaBiblioNumérique:

  • You can borrow up to 10 items each month.
  • You can place up to 5 holds each month.
  • Items can be borrowed for 21 days.
  • Items are returned automatically.
  • Items cannot be renewed.
  • If you want to return an item early, you can do so using Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader.
  • You can read a sample before borrowing an item (pictured below).


Once you've selected and borrowed your eBook, you're ready to download it. Unlike other eBook providers such as OverDrive, if you're using a public computer to borrow an eBook from MaBiblioNumérique, you need to email yourself a link - at least according to the instructions on the website (shown in the screenshot below); however, the 'My Account' section (which can be accessed any time from any device) also has a 'download' button next to each item, and you can use that instead. I'd recommend emailing yourself a link just in case, and using 'My Account' if you find it more convenient.

Public Workstation

Now you're ready to open and read your newly downloaded eBook!

MaBiblioNumérique eBooks are available in ePub format, and in some cases as PDFs, and can be read on various devices. There are great device-specific step-by-step instructions in the help section.

When using a computer or a Paperwhite Sony, Kobo or other eReader you'll need to download Adobe Digital Editions and either create an Adobe Account or sign in using your existing Adobe ID. 

If you're using an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), an Android device (phone, tablet, or eReader), or a Windows device (8.1, 8, or 7 SP1), you'll need to download the Bluefire Reader app and either authorize it with your Adobe ID or create an Adobe Account.

Note that you can only use one Adobe ID to borrow any given eBook. That means that if you're using multiple devices, make sure to use the same Adobe ID on all of them.

Also note that MaBiblioNumérique eBooks are not compatible with the OverDrive app, so you need to download the Bluefire Reader to access them on your mobile device. It's an app created specifically to access Adobe DRM protected (and DRM free) EPUB and PDF eBooks, and is very easy to use. Below is a screenshot of Bluefire Reader taken with an Android device.

Bluefire Reader

When an item is not available to be borrowed, you'll see a 'PLACE A HOLD' button instead of the 'BORROW' button (shown below).

Place a Hold

As you've come to expect from other eBook providers such as OverDrive, when you place a hold, you'll be asked for your email. You'll receive an email confirmation once you've placed the hold, as well as a notification once your eBook is available.

Place Hold

Lastly, you can see the items you've borrowed and placed on hold in 'My Account'. This is where you'll also find that 'Download' button I mentioned earlier. You can see items borrowed in the past (including on other devices) and download them. While MaBiblioNumérique does not let you suspend holds at this time, you can cancel holds from here. 

My Account

If you get stuck at any time, MaBiblioNumérique has help pages in English. If you prefer, the same help pages are also available in French.

If you have any questions, please post them below and I'll be happy to help you on your MaBiblioNumérique journey.

School and association cruising

February 23, 2015 | Ranald | Comments (0)

The e-resource Career Cruising is good for profiling careers. What might not be so obvious is that it's also good for finding out where, in pursuit of a career, you can go to school; and what related, local associations there might be.




Say you want to know where you might go to school to become a chef. Click on "Careers", enter "chef" in the keyword search window, and select "chef" from the results.

On the page for chefs, select "Education" from the menu on the left. Scroll down to the "Related college & university programs" menu and select e.g. "Culinary arts / chef training." This will take you to a list of links to colleges and programs in Ontario (the default).


Let's say you're a pharmacist and wish to know what associations for pharmacists there might be. Again, click on "Careers", enter "pharmacist" in the keyword search window, and select "pharmacist" from the results (the only result, actually).

On the page for pharmacists, select "Other resources" from the menu on the left. Among the links that are listed will be links to Canadian associations for pharmacists.


E-resources in Chinese

February 19, 2015 | Niki | Comments (0)

ThCAETNP9NHappy New Year!  Happy Year of the Yang!  The big debate over Sheep or Goat is explored in this CTV story but most treat it philosophically: "The year of the yang, 2015, is neither a sheep nor a goat. It is a beautiful and elegant milk yang! Abundant milk, clothes and food. It will be a halcyon year," wrote one user on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

To celebrate this major, global holiday I thought I'd look at some of the e-resources that we have in the Chinese language.

1Overdrive:  Overdrive has about 1200 eBook titles in Chinese. You can filter a search by language or click on  Chinese in the Language Collections at the top of the home page to bring up a list to browse.  We could also type a search in Chinese characters that would bring up the title.  Most titles appear to be in simplified script.

Zinio: Zinio has about 40 magazines.  The great thing about its content is that many are popular, Hong Kong and Taiwanese titles. They include various editions of Cosmopolitan and GQ as well as well as Common Health Magazine and Next .  These can also be searched in Chinese characters but with 40 titles its easy Coverto browse.

hoopla:  While unable to search in Chinese characters hoopla does have a good browsing collection of movies in "Chinese Cinema".  The language is specified as Cantonese, Mandarin or (unhelpfully) Chinese.

2Chinese E-magazines: This carries 2300 full-text magazines from  the People's Republic of China.  They cover a broad range of subjects including art, literature, history, science, politics, health, business, economics and more. The magazines can be viewed in both simplified and traditional characters.  The interface can be set to traditional or simplified so the magazines are more accessible.

This is just a quick list.  What have I missed? 





Safari Tech Books Online

January 26, 2015 | Susan | Comments (0)

Have you ever felt sheer panic when faced with an unfamiliar piece of technology?

A few years ago, when Windows 8 first came out, I was expecting a spiffier-looking version of Windows 7. Instead, the operating system looked different, the icons were in all the ‘wrong’ places, and the Start menu was nowhere to be found. When library customers needed help with basic tasks on their Windows 8 laptops—be it connecting to the Wi-Fi or opening a Microsoft Word document—I was stumped. I admit I panicked. If I didn’t own a Windows 8 PC, how was I supposed to learn to use one?

Safari Tech & Business Books Online saved my life!

ProQuest Safari Books Online

I accessed a few introductory videos and quickly learned the basics. Then, I turned to eBooks—and the ‘search this book’ feature—to find all the information I needed. My Windows 8-related anxiety just melted away.

Search This Book  Using Windows 8

Before you ask, I did also search Google and YouTube, both of which are great resources when you have tech questions. I found I prefer Safari because it provides trusted content that’s thorough, well-organized, up to date, and easy-to-understand.

Safari is now a hidden gem that I cannot live without!

While Windows 8 will soon be a thing of the past—Windows 10 is here, and rumor has it that upgrading is FREE—there’s always new technology, as well as skills that need refreshing, and questions that stump us.

 Safari Tech & Business Books Online

As of today, Safari Tech & Business Books Online contains "over 36,755 technology, digital media, and business books and videos." Access is unlimited and available anytime, anywhere, with a valid library card.

To access Safari, you need to navigate to the eBooks & Downloads section of the TPL website (where OverDrive, Zinio, Hoopla, the lesser known OneClick Digital, and eBooks for Kids are housed).

Safari is the place to go if you need a tech book ‘now’ and: the book was published yesterday and hasn’t yet made its way to the library shelves; it’s 2am and you really can’t wait until morning; the only library that has the books you need is halfway across the city; or all the copies of a particular book are checked out. 

Safari has lots of eBooks to help you with basic computer skills, from Microsoft Word and Excel, to Facebook, and using Email.

Learning Microsoft Word 2013 Excel 2013 all-in-one for dummies My Facebook for seniors Communicating Effectively with Email

You can also use Safari to become a Digital Innovation Hub pro and learn all about: the Arduino or Raspberry Pi; 3D printing; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign or GIMP; and Adobe Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS.

Learn Raspberry Pi Programming with Python Mastering 3D Printing LiveLessons Real World Adobe InDesign CC Adobe Dreamweaver CC Learn by Video

Moreover, if you’re a visual learner and prefer videos over books, Safari could very well become your favourite tech learning resource.

It’s also great for very specialized tech book, especially ones which, in my humble opinion, sound like they’re in a foreign language. “Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101," “Apache Hadoop YARN,” and “Node.js, MongoDB, and AngularJS Web Development," are just a few examples. Yes, these are all real tech topics that you can learn about on Safari.

Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101  Apache Hadoop YARN Node.js, MongoDB, and AngularJS Web Development

While I’ve mostly focused on Safari's tech book and video content, I want to point out that it has other subjects as well:


Here are some examples of the type of content you can find on Safari:

No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline The Manga Guide to Physics Discrete Mathematics with Ducks Your Photos Stink!

I highly recommend you give Safari Tech & Business Books Online a try!

Take some time and explore all the great titles that are available. It is a wonderful resource if you're looking for non-fiction eBooks.

Digital Content For The Holiday Season

December 22, 2014 | Joanne | Comments (0)

OneClick Digital eAudiobooks

The holidays are a perfect time to relax and listen to some eAudiobooks. OneClick Digital Audiobooks has many popular titles for adults, teens and children. Set up is easy. First time users need to create an account and download the OneClick Digital Media Manager software to their computer.  Video tutorials are available to help you get started. The OneClickdigital eAudio app is also available for Android, iPhone, iTouch and iPad users.

The Orenda Z08003_image_128x192 And the mountains echoed 5000340_image_128x192 Bone clocks Z04473_image_128x192 Flowers in the Attic Z10410_image_128x192
Diary of a Wimpy kid Z0094_image_128x192 Invention of Wings Z07810_image_128x192 Pimsleur Chinese Mandarin 54303_image_128x192 Pimsleur French 54958_image_128x192


Simon & Schuster Titles Now Available in OverDrive

A great selection of eBooks published by Simon & Schuster was recently made available through OverDrive.

I've Got You Under My Skin {DE3AF86E-21DB-4CF0-9192-92A9880E6C59}Img400

One for the Money {2377EA58-AA5C-416B-BF89-A417F896A1AE}Img400 Hilary Clinton {CD270001-8A28-4C0D-8D7E-688D36A5FC99}Img400
Fahrenheit {63348573-0F7A-4FB9-B84F-F83F7FF14D54}Img400 Team of Rivals {BDACE166-9808-4859-A723-D933B7E6FF66}Img400 Steve Jobs {C6794636-A74F-49AE-A54D-C87EA3858B02}Img400


Zinio Digital Magazines - New Condé Nast titles now available

Some great new Condé Nast digital magazine titles are now available through Zinio. Customers can checkout and download issues to a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Vogue cover Vanity Fair cover   New yorker cover
GQ cover Bon Appetit cover Vogue Italia cover

   There is something for everyone. Happy holidays!




New OverDrive Features for Fall 2014

November 17, 2014 | Susan | Comments (0)




Over the years, OverDrive has made a lot of improvements, but they've really upped their game this fall. Not only are they in the process of retiring the Adobe ID (the thought of which still makes me shudder), but they've allowed for automatic hold borrowing, added a suspend hold feature, and found a way to properly format and display eBooks with illustrations. 

Goodbye Adobe ID, Hello OverDrive Account

Users can now sign up for an OverDrive Account instead of the long-dreaded Adobe ID. Registration takes seconds, and requires either an email or - wait for it - a Facebook accounts! The OverDrive Account works on up to 6 devices and syncs progress and bookmarks across them. The account even saves local libraries, search results, and favourite genres! You can even use the OverDrive account to authorize ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) on a computer, instead of using an Adobe ID.

Note: Existing OverDrive users don't need to sign up for an OverDrive account; however, if they're using the app and need to reinstall it, they will be prompted to create this new account. 


Automatically Borrow Holds

OverDrive now allows users to automatically borrow holds once they become available. They can still borrow holds manually, but the automatic borrow feature has its benefits. First of all, it eliminates the 4 day borrow window for available holds. This is a great time saver, as titles don't spend as long on the hold shelf. Moreover, users are less likely to miss their holds, since they no longer have to log in and borrow them within the 4 day window.

Note: If a user has the maximum number of titles checked out, they get notified that auto checkout failed. They then have the standard 4 days to make room for the hold and borrow it.


Suspend Holds

Did you know you could suspend holds on OverDrive? It's a new feature that OverDrive sneaked in with the latest update. It allows users to suspend their holds for a selected number of days (7, 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90) and re-activate them as needed. As expected, users continue to move up the holds queue until they're first in line.

Tip: This feature is great for users who are going away on vacation, placing holds on entire series, or are in the middle of another title.


EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks

I know it's a mouthful, but the concept of EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks is rather simple. It allows users to properly view graphic novels, picture books, and other eBooks with illustration. Titles come in this new format, and can be viewed in an up-to-date browser or the OverDrive app, without the user having to install any additional software or plugins.

Examples: If you're curious to see what this format looks like, try The Monster Returns or The Construction Crew.


If you'd like to learn more about these features, or other minor changes made to OverDrive this fall, check out OverDrive for Libraries: The next chapter, a webinar delivered on September 18, 2014. Information in this blog is based on the training webinar, as well as personal experience using OverDrive.

Let's talk apps!

November 14, 2014 | Diana S. | Comments (0)

AppWordCloudIt may be the mobile information age, but we hope the public will still think of the library as the place to go for their information needs no matter what age they may be. It’s always a good idea to keep up with technological advancements and know what’s new out there. There are a lot of applications on the market for library users and librarians. The number of mobile apps for smartphones, iPads, tablet computers, and other mobile devices are steadily growing – people are using apps every day and all day.   

Flurry Analytics indicate that as of March 2014, users are spending 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices. These 'mobile addicts’ launch apps at least 60 times per day. AppsIf the public is spending more time on their apps than ever before, then let’s talk app to them. Our own Toronto Public Library Website has a list of Mobile Apps for Library Services. For a list of recommended mobile apps for librarians, see 50 Great Mobile Apps for Librarians and its presentation. Here are some of the apps I like and found useful: 

Library of Congress – Virtual Tour 
This is a free app that gives a virtual tour of the Library of Congress as if you were there. The virtual tour includes: The Main Reading Room; The Great Hall; Exploring the Early Americas; Creating the United States; The Bible Collection; Thomas Jefferson’s Library; and Minerva.  

IELTS Skills            
This app looks at a range of topics in the areas of reading, listening, speaking and writing that will help develop skills needed to answer IELTS academic questions.  

Canadian Citizenship Test and Canadian Citizenship Test Exam 
Although not a substitute for the book Discover Canada, questions are based on the book and will help in the study and preparation for the Canadian Citizenship Test.  

Canadian Driving Tests 
This app is not free, but the website Driving Tests 101 will give an idea of what the app is like. You will learn the rules, signs, and law of the road.  

Aesop for Children 
This is a free app by the Library of Congress featuring an interactive version of the classic Aesop tales. There are over 140 stories accompanied with animated illustrations.  

RecordBooks Free 
This is one of the great ways to keep track of books without the need for pencil or paper.  

BookBuddy – Book Library Manager 
BookBuddy is a book management application that gives you access to your entire book catalog, anywhere. You can create an organized lis tof all the books in your library, allowing you to quickly and easily find any book. You can then share or loan out your books and keep track of them. You can create and save notes on each book or enter other information you would like. 

Goodreads – Book Recommendations and Reviews for Great Books and eBooks  
This app not only keeps track of what you’ve read, but what you want to read. You can see book reviews, rate books, review books, and recommend books. 

If you want to find out what other apps are out there, try the AppCrawler, an app discovery engine.   You AppCrawlrcan specify a specific device or all devices. The AppCrawler will let you know the hottest or most used app. You can find out what’s the hottest in book readers, rising stars in eBook readers, or hottest in books & reference.

Remember the buzz-worthy and catchy phrase, "There's an app for that," which Apple filed for a trademark? Yes. There is an app for finding apps – see 10 Apps for Finding Apps. Some of the apps include: 



Naxos Jazz and all that other jazz

September 22, 2014 | Niki | Comments (1)

BillieWhy is it so difficult to find good early jazz here? In Montreal they had a great collection and here there is almost nothing that I want.” I got defensive about this question – we have a great library system – ask anyone – but was quite polite and said I would look into it.

Well I did and he was right – in a way. Montreal’s public media collection is superb and is centrally located in one building. He neglected to mention that this building was the Grande Bibliothèque,  part of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Quebec's national library. It is not merely for Montreal but for the whole province.

I contacted him and recommended that he tryCharlie our Naxos Music Library Jazz. He was thrilled there was a way for him to access quality jazz in his area of interest.

Naxos Music Library Jazz (NMLJ) is a reservoir of great jazz from over 200 labels (including the catalogue of Blue Note Records, Warner Jazz, EMI, and Fantasy). The recordings in NMLJ come from over 8,600 albums (92,200 tracks) and 32,000 artists. NMLJ offers a mixed selection of jazz legends and contemporary jazz. Recordings can also be accessed from anywhere the patron chooses. You can create playlists in NMLJ. Once you log in and start your playlist you can exit NMLJ and keep your tunes playing in the background as you go about the rest of your life. You can download the free Apple app or use its  HTML5 for Logo_nml_jazzmobile browser. It’s a great resource for the jazz lover and it’s very easy to search for your favorites and build multiple playlists to organize them.

Music plays an important role in life of our City and Garcia TPL has recognized and supported this. In 1915 the Music Library was established as one of the library’s first subject collections. In 1959 the collection moved to the Howard Ferguson house on Avenue Road. Ogreta McNeill, Canada’s first professional music librarian and head of the music library, described it as “a home away from home; a drawing room where people could sit in nice leather chairs with their feet up and listen to music". The collection moved to the new Metropolitan Toronto Library in 1977. (1)

Today, our reference collection for music (including scores) is in the Arts Department on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library, branches hold CD collections of interest to their neigbourhood and we have virtual resources such as Naxos Music Library, Naxos Music Library (Jazz) and Music Periodicals, International. On June 23, 2014, TPL staff tabled a Report to the Board on the Toronto music collection and the Board made a series of recommendations on the direction the library could take in the 21st Century.


IPictures-r-4679n Ogreta McNeill’s eulogy it was mentioned “She had energy, authority and persuasiveness, and, when called for pursued her cause of music librarianship with directness, spirit and determination. And pursued other causes as well: I believe she cancelled her TSO subscription after the infamous episode of the “Symphony Six”.

What was this infamous episode? 

A free Tim’s coffee card to the first response!

MOOCs for Professional Development

September 15, 2014 | Susan | Comments (1)

Today, I’d like to share something amazing that has the potential to change the course of your career: Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs for short. 

MOOCs are courses, often offered by top universities, that are available online for anyone with Internet access to take free of charge. This means no hefty tuition fees and unlimited access to courses anytime, anywhere. Many MOOCs are very relevant to libraries and TPL, but before I share a few of my favourites, I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about them. 

An unlimited number of participants can register for a MOOC simultaneously and, in fact, very large numbers of people are often enrolled in any given MOOC. Lectures are pre-recorded and videos are made available, along with additional readings, homework, and quizzes. MOOCs even come with their very own virtual classrooms, interactive discussion forums where students, professors and teaching assistants can discuss course content, ask questions, and provide feedback and support. MOOCs have a start date, weekly deadlines, and an end date. Participants who complete all coursework on time and receive a passing grade earn a certificate, signed by the instructorhowever, many MOOCs are also archived so that those who missed a session can go back and learn at their own pace. 

There are many websites that provide access to MOOCs. A few good ones are: Coursera, EdX, and Stanford Online.

MOOC Word Cloud

If you took a look at the links above, you might have noticed that there are thousands of different courses being offered by hundreds of universities and professionals, in dozens of fields. Added up, that's a lot to choose from! If you're as excited about MOOCs as I am, or would just like to give one a try, remember to pay attention to the following factors before you get started:

  • course description
  • credentials of the instructor
  • affiliated institution,
  • prerequisite knowledge required to enroll
  • course syllabus
  • course duration
  • require workload (often listedas hours of work / week)

To get you started, I've selected a few MOOCs that I thought you might find interesting and subdivided them into four categories: Librarianship, Cataloguing, Management and Makerspaces. 


  • Changing the Global Course of Learning Open Knowledge, Stanford University. Topics covered include open source, open science, open data, open access, open education, and open learning. They are discussed from various perspectives, including librarianship, publishing, education, economics, politics and more. September 02, 2014 - December 12, 2014
  • Library Advocacy Unshushed Wendy Newman, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Learn how to advocate for libraries so that they continue to thrive for generations to come. Archived.
  • New Librarianship Master Class R. David Lankes, Jill Hurst-Wahl, Megan Oakleaf and Jian Qin, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University. Wondering what the future holds for libraries? R. David Lankes thinks libraries should move away from books, catalogues and buildings and instead adopt the mission statement: “to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities". Archived.


  • Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information Jeffrey Pomerantz, School of Information and Library Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Take an in-depth look at how information is organized for retrieval in libraries, databases and on the Web. July 14, 2014 – September 10, 2014. Archived.


  • An Introduction to Operations Management Christian Terwiesch, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The management skills that you need to run any operation, whether a restaurant, hospital, or library, are essentially the same. After this course, you'll look at the workplace with different eyes, detecting bottlenecks, identifying productivity wastes, and coming up with ideas to improve various processes. September 29, 2014 – November 24, 2014 


  • Introduction to Computational Arts Margaret Anne Schedel, Faculty of Music, State University of New York. Are you excited about the maker programs at TPL? Why not join the fun and learn some basic image and audio editing, including how to use Processing, Photoshop or Gimp, and Logic or Soundation. August 25, 2014 – December 19, 2014.
  • An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python Joe Warren, Scott Rixner, John Greiner, & Stephen Wong, Rice University. Learning to program in Python can be fun and easy with this group of hilarious and talented professors who know just how to make you fall in love with coding. September 15, 2014 to November 16, 2014.

Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure.

August 18, 2014 | Ranald | Comments (0)

Parfois, à peine ma bougie éteinte, mes yeux se fermaient si vite que je n’avais pas le temps de me dire: «Je m’endors.» Et, une demi-heure après, la pensée qu’il était temps de chercher le sommeil m’éveillait; je voulais poser le volume que je croyais avoir encore dans les mains et souffler ma lumière…

These first sentences seem to allude to the composition of the novel, much of which Proust wrote at night in bed.

For the half hour that the narrator doesn't realize he's asleep, the novelist of the same name writes into the night, in notebook after notebook ("le volume que je croyais avoir encore dans les mains"), not as a "garrulous old dowager" (Beckett) but with the poise of a Duchesse de Guemantes (and allure of a Saint-Loup), as certain that he's not asleep as that he's not holding his notebook upside down.

There are 2-3 flights a day from Toronto to Paris, from now until the end of October. Torontonians like going. They're able to say, "I'm going to Paris!" They're able to use an exclamation mark, which they seldom find occasion to do. They're able to see what they can't see in Toronto, like Vermeer's De kantwerkster and De astronoom in the Louvre and, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the cahiers Proust wrote into the night in.

These cahiers can also be seen online (as can the Vermeers), without going to Paris, on the BnF’s Gallica.

Not having written even a short novel in bed, it's surprising, seeing them, to see, though not wanting in allure, how wanting in poise Proust's handwriting is. He was no doubt writing quickly. He wrote on the recto, not verso, of notebooks but sometimes, as in the one below, wrote on the verso as though it were the recto. He was holding the notebook upside down, suggesting hurry. And he was writing in bed.


Proust ms

Titre : Fonds Marcel Proust. II — À LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU. A — Manuscrits autographes. XXXI-XCII Soixante-deux cahiers de brouillons comportant des ébauches des différentes parties de la Recherche à divers stades de leur rédaction. XXXI-XXXVII Contre Sainte-Beuve. NAF 16647

Date d'édition : XIXe-XXe s. Type : manuscrit Langue : Français Format : 71 f. - 220 × 175 mm. - Cahier moleskine noire Droits : domaine public Identifiant : ark:/12148/btv1b6000474c Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, NAF 16647

Description : Contient : Combray ; Le Petit noyau des Verdurin ; Le Marquis de Guercy ; Sainte-Beuve et Baudelaire Provenance :

Date de mise en ligne : 09/10/2009

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