Reading local with 49th Shelf

First aired on Homestretch (08/06/12)

canada-map-175.jpgWe've all heard of eating local and the 100-mile diet, but can reading local be good for you too? The people behind the online site 49th Shelf certainly think so. They've just launched a new crowd sourcing campaign called Read Local: The 100-Mile Book Diet, and are encouraging readers to pin a book by a local author to an interactive map of Canada.

Website host Julie Wilson says the goal of the project is to celebrate the connection between "Canadian-authored books and Canadian places."

"If you think about music, we associate songs with a sense of place, not only the song might be about a certain place, but the place in which we first experienced it, and this is the same experience for readers," Wilson told CBC's Homestretch during a recent interview. "Books inform our sense of place in ways we simply can't imagine on our own, and [reading] reflects our country back to us through a variety of voices and experiences. I can't think of a better country than Canada for this, because we're so full of texture and diversity, and by asking readers to literally put a book on a map, we provide yet another means of coming to know our country."

Check out the map if you haven't already. And we'd love to hear your suggestions for three local authors (from either your hometown or your current home) in the comments below!