Book lovers are rubbing elbows with some bestselling writers at a black tie gala fundraiser for the Toronto Public Library.

The eighth annual Book Lover’s Ball began at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Fairmont Royal York hotel on Front Street. Linwood Barclay, Dr. Vincent Lam, Lawrence Hill, Katrina Onstad and Conrad Black were among the dozens of writers in attendance.

Cityline host Tracy Moore was emceeing the event and CityNews reporter Melanie Ng had the red carpet coverage.

Last year’s gala raised $500,000 for the world’s busiest urban library system that includes 98 branches. A premium table at the event cost $10,000, a corporate table was $7,500 and individual tickets were sold for $750.

Thursday night’s event was the first time novel-inspired entertainment took centre stage with artists bringing three Canadian books — Demonologist, Blaze and The Painted Girls — to life.

Money raised from this year’s ball will fund improved and expanded collections, enhanced programming and technology upgrades.