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!
- 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.)
- 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!