What a wonderful event! This is the first year I have been able to watch the entire event (with one more day of debates to come tomorrow) and I am thoroughly enjoying it. This year rather than Canada Reads being about which books you love the most the purpose is for the panelists to decide which book is most likely to incite social change.
The books in the running are The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (eliminated on day one), Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (eliminated on day two), Annabel by Kathleen Winter (eliminated on day three), Cockroach by Rawi Hage, and The Orenda by Joseph Boyden.
The debaters are very animated and passionate about the books they are championing and I believe that is why the event is so good. It’s not about emotions running high or seeing someone disappointed because they were unable to sway the other panelists to vote in favour of the book they’re championing. It’s about seeing the affects that books have on people. It’s about knowing that other people care about the written word. It’s about seeing a passion similar to what I feel for my favourite books in another person.
To be honest I think the Canada Reads competition is flawed in that it’s impossible to rank a book above or below another on such a grand scale because reading is such a personal experience. But I would never argue against the competition. At the end of the day its purpose is to promote books, to promote reading and to promote (and provoke) discussions and that is never a bad thing.