The 2010 Toronto Burlesque Festival is doing its part to boost interest in literature.
The annual festival will kick off with an event called "Naked Girls Reading." It was to be just that as the festival kicked off Wednesday at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel.
Burlesque performers, including Tanya Cheex and Peekaboo Pointe were to perform public readings in the nude, according to Quill&Quire. It was expected to be works of science fiction because this year's burlesque festival is "MeTOPolis: The Future of Burlesque."
According to The Globe and Mail, Chicago photographer/writer Franky Vivid first had the idea for the Naked Girls Reading series when he walked in and found his wife, burlesque superstar Michelle L'amour, "reading a book while nude."
The couple came up with the idea of having an old-style salon. The Naked Girls Reading series now is offered each month at Studio L'amour in Chicago.
Girls pick their own material. For an "Independent Women" show some of the readings included Dorothy Parker, Mae West and Coco Chanel.
The Chicagoist reported the couple started holding the event a little over a year ago in Chicago and it has since spread to eight cities and may soon add five more.
Each salon usually features four or five readers taking 10-minute turns. Then everyone reads from a common book.
Speaking about the readings, L'amour told the Globe and Mail that while they do often get people coming the first time "because of shock value, they hang around for the readings."
"They've already seen us naked, so that's routine for them," she said. "They come to hang on every word."