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The books that tell Canada’s Story

By Michael Tamblyn • June 16, 2017

I always say that at Kobo we stand for the people who put books and reading at the very centre of their lives—those passionate booklovers who identify as readers, first and foremost. We do this, because we are those people. I am one of these people.

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It’s simply how I grew up. Reading was always something I did to learn and escape and experience new perspectives, but most of all, it was something that connected me to the people and world around me. You see, Canada is a nation of readers. A young, sparsely populated country, yes, but one with a long history of punching above its weight on the global literary stage.

How long exactly? On July 1st, 2017, Canada turns 150. And to commemorate this milestone year, we are undertaking an ambitious goal: to identify the 150 books, old and new, that tell Canada’s Story: The Canadian canon reimagined.

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From a young age, Canadians are taught in school that diversity is strength. That Canada is a cultural mosaic, not a melting pot. Despite all of our many, celebrated differences, however, we are bonded by our shared reverence for the written word. A love of storytelling—established by Canada’s first peoples long before Europeans set foot on North American soil—that seems to have been hardwired into our national DNA.

We at Kobo rally around the idea that books are more than just things to be sold, more than just units or “content". They are the container of a country’s dreams, its stories and arguments and history, its most dangerous suggestions and serious thought. Books live at the intersection of culture and commerce, with businesses, policy-makers and consumers all crossing paths, a source of pride, heritage and identity with which we as Canadians are entirely familiar.

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For passionate booklovers, there’s nothing more enjoyable than discussing the important role that books play in our society.

For a book-obsessed nation like Canada—there could be no greater birthday gift.

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