So many ways to spread the joy of reading

Yesterday a fellow blogger introduced her readers to I Read Canadian Day.  Thanks, Debra.  I was a bit taken aback that I hadn’t heard of this special day before, but in looking it up I see that this is only the second year of its existence, so I forgive myself.  I had also recently discovered, thanks to a come-on for a library donation from my alma mater, that Valentine’s Day is also Library Lovers Day.  So many days, so many great ways to celebrate reading.  So, as my act of kindness to my readers – since yesterday was also Random Acts of Kindness Day (although every day is a good day for a random act of kindness) – I’m going to remind everyone of the immense joy to be had from reading.  And that you can read for free with your library card!

In exploring further, I’ve discovered that there are many days reserved for celebrating reading and literacy throughout the year.  Here’s one list, undoubtedly incomplete:

  • January is National Book Month
  • Third full week in January is National Book Week
  • January 27 – Family Literacy Day
  • Last full week in January is Celebrity Read a Book Week
  • February 17 – I Read Canadian Day
  • February 23 – Printed Book Day
  • March is National Reading Month
  • March 2 – National Read Across America Day
  • March 2 – Unesco World Book Day
  • March 2 – UK World Book Day
  • March 28 – Children’s Picture Book Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 6 – New Brunswick Adult Literacy Day
  • April 16 – Book-of-the-Month Club Birthday
  • April 22 – Instant Book Day
  • April 23 – World Book Day
  • April 3 through May 6 – Children’s Book Week
  • June is AudioBook Month
  • September is National Literacy Month
  • September is when the annual 2 day National Book Festival is held
  • American Library Association (ALA) Banned Book Week is the last week of September
  • October is National Book Month per National Book Foundation
  • October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  • First full week in October is Great Books Week
  • December is Read a New Book Month

As a lifelong lover of books, I applaud any event that encourages people – especially young people – to pick up a book of their choosing and start reading.  Reading has certainly been a hugely important source of release for many, many housebound people during this past year of the pandemic.  The only sad thing is that I’m pretty sure many of us have never heard of most of these special days.  They need far more promotion.

And now to do my part for yesterday’s special day – I Read Canadian Day.  According to the I Read Canadian website:

I READ CANADIAN DAY is a national day of celebration of Canadian books for young people. This is a day dedicated to ‘reading Canadian’ and will empower families, schools, libraries and organizations to host local activities and events within the week. …

GOAL: The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of Canadian books and celebrate the richness, diversity and breadth of Canadian literature.

I’m not sure how successful this movement has been so far, but what a great goal. I happen to one of the long-time converted; I always look for books by Canadian authors first, especially female Canadian authors.  And that holds for children’s authors as well … even my Robby Robins stories, which you can read to your kids for free from my blog link!

I’ll start you off with a list of some of my favourite books by Canadian authors, and you can let me know who you’d add to the list.  A belated happy I Read Canadian Day to everyone!

Children’s books:

  • All books by Dennis Lee
  • All books by Robert Munsch
  • All books by Sheree Fitch
  • Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, by Mordecai Richler
  • All books by Gordon Korman
  • The Myrtle the Purple Turtle books, by Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange
  • Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maude Montgomery
  • The Hockey Sweater, by Roch Carrier
  • And, of course, the enchanting Robin Robins series!  (I can send you a pdf file for printing them out if you’re interested.)

Adult reading:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
  • A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews
  • All My Puny Sorrow, By Miriam Toews
  • All of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries
  • The Bishop’s Man and The Wake, by Linden MacIntyre
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steve Galloway
  • All of Alice Munro’s novels
  • All of Carol Shields’ novels
  • Life of Pi and Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel
  • The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence, actually, any of her novels
  • All books by Thomas King
  • Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce, by Joseph Boyden
  • Room, by Emma Donoghue
  • Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  • The Book of Negroes (aka Someone Knows My Name in some countries), by Lawrence Hill (actually, any book by Lawrence Hill)
  • The Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis
  • February, by Lisa Moore
  • Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
  • Oh, so many great authors, like Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Margaret McMillan, Wayne Johnston, and Elizabeth Hay. Really, the list is endless.

Needless to say, I encourage you all to find yourself a book by any of our remarkable Canadian authors and curl up and read.  But the main message is to read, to make reading an integral part of your life.  And to do everything you can to encourage your kids and grandkids to find what they like to read and then go for it.  Or read and then write!  If everyone in your house has a library card, that’s a good start. The next step is to have regular family trips to the library.

A final happy I Read Canadian Day, everyone.  Time to get ready for March – National Reading Month – and March 2 – World Book Day. Happy reading!

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20 Responses to So many ways to spread the joy of reading

  1. Darlene says:

    Thanks, Jane for promoting Canadian authors. Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence are two of my favourites.

  2. So many days to celebrate. Yesterday here was National Drink Wine Day, so I did. Today I will celebrate with my friends up north by reading an Alice Munro short story. I have A Wilderness Station unfinished and on my shelf. Many wonderful authors on your list.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. Now that’s a National Day that everyone can use these days, especially in Texas. A truly excellent way to celebrate I Read Canadian Day by treating yourself to an Alice Munro short story! Take good care of yourself, Crystal.

  3. May I add Robertson Davies and Gabrielle Roy? And Alistair MacLeod?

  4. LA says:

    I love a literary themed calendar

  5. Lynda Homer says:

    This topic is near and dear to my heart Jane! I’d like to add Family Literacy Day Jan 27th and NB Adult Literacy Day April 6th, to your list of days to celebrate literacy and reading. We generally do have a variety of events across the province to celebrate these days. Two additional New Brunswick authors to check out are Wendy McLeod MacKnight, The Frame Up and Riel Nason, The Town that Drowned. Reading has been my joy and salvation during this pandemic. I have truly indulged myself and read many wonderful books over the past year. Thank you for this great post! May I share it through my Literacy Coalition social media? Lynda

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks for some great additional Canadian reading suggestions, Lynda. I keep remembering more and more great reads myself, and am overwhelmed by the power of so many wonderful reading memories. I’ve added your extra dates to the list. By all means feel free to share the link. Happy reading. Happy advocating!!

  6. Thanks for sharing my post, Jane, and for providing a comprehensive list of days to celebrate reading and literary, and Canadian authors!

  7. Reading has been my favorite past time but 2020 it was my favorite to make it through the pandemic. I’m marking these dates in my planner and keeping the lists of books in it as well. I see my grandchildren getting some new books from Nana in the coming months. Thank you, Jane!!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      You are one busy lady, Rita! And you’re the one who gave me the idea to join GoodReads this year. If you haven’t read Canadian authors before, I think you’d like Carol Shields and Alice Munro. If you like mysteries, the Louise Penny books are made for us women! 😊

  8. heimdalco says:

    Since being ejected from the womb I have been a reading person. My mom read to me before I could do that for myself & a trip to the grocery store meant I could pick out a Little Golden Book for my mom & me to read together, often many times. In elementary school I loved the Weekly Reader & a chance to belong to a paperback book club. I ordered cool books like The Invisible Man. Until my mom’s death in 2004 we continued to share books. I believe I was extra attracted to my husband when I met him because we enjoyed the same books & authors. Reading opens not only the world to those who read, but the universe & nothing lays a better groundwork for the future author/blogger/freelancer than the vocabulary you build, the imagination you develop & the creativity you acquire while reading.

  9. bernieLynne says:

    Phoebe Gillman – born in the States but lived most of her life here. Jillian Jiggs (the entire series), Something from Nothing and the Balloon Tree. My fav kids books!

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