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Canadian novels to be given away for free in Britain

Three revered Canadian novels will be getting both a publicity and sales boost, thanks to a new reading campaign across the pond. To celebrate the inaugural World Book Night on March 5, British and Irish book lovers have been invited to hand out copies of 25 preselected titles for free to other members of the public. A total of one million books will be given away, and Margaret Atwood‘s The Blind Assassin, Yann Martel‘s Life of Pi and Rohinton Mistry‘s A Fine Balance are among them.

Other titles include The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Patrons of the event—which will bestow book-giving privileges on 20,000 givers—include artist Damien Hirst, authors J. K. Rowling and Dave Eggers and actor Colin Firth.

Would-be givers must select the title they want to give away and provide a 100-word explanation of their choice as well as a list of the people to whom they want to give the books. It’s a fantastic idea, and one that bears repeating in Canada. Let’s hope that Stephen Harper is paying attention, though judging by his relative non-response to Yann Martel’s cheeky Web site, What is Stephen Harper Reading?, Mr. Harper has more important things on his mind than the literacy of the nation over which he presides.

Canadian novels among 1-million-book giveaway [CBC]The Largest Book Give-Away Ever Attempted! 20,000 book lovers to give away one-million books on the inaugural World Book Night [Newsvine] • Whatisstephenharperreading.ca

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