This guy is working on a new holiday for celebrating Canadian books. It warms the heart to think of all these families settling down together on February 19 to read a tried-and-true Canadian classic like Beautiful Losers or The Bear.
If writer Eric Walters has his way — and there’s every indication he will — schoolchildren across the country will be picking up a book written by a Canadian on Feb. 19, and helping to celebrate a brand new national day.
The idea is simple: encourage families, kids, teachers to take 15 minutes out of their day to read a Canadian book. To help make it easy, schools, libraries and bookstores are hosting activities and events to put Canadian books in their hands. What sparked the idea is a bit more complicated: a shocking drop in the sales of Canadian books.
In December 2018, the More Canada report had just been published. It found that Canadian-authored books then represented just 15 per cent of book purchases — they used to represent 26 per cent. It also found that there were fewer publishers publishing Canadian books and that sales of Canadian books had declined by 44 per cent over the previous ten years — and that Canadians weren’t even sure if they were reading a Canadian book, partly because of online retailing.