Friday, March 8, 2013

March Madness

So right off the bat, and to be perfectly clear Harper Collins Canada doesn't know who I am, there's pretty much no chance they'll even read this and I'm not writing it to give them publicity blah blah blah. I'm writing this for you - yes, you, one of the handful of people who's reading this, because for reasons beyond Marketing you should be paying attention to Harper Collins Canada's March Madness contest.

HCC March Madness is basically a basketball tournament with books - 64 books that face off until one book is named ultimate champion of all of the books. Book vs. Book. Literary smack down for the ages. HCC is clever - along with one book crowned winner, one person wins all of the books.

Ok, so why do you care? Other then winning 64 books (that I can impartially say over half of which actually rank on my list of favourite books ever- Amelia Bedelia, The Giving Tree, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Goodnight Moon, The Gruffalo, To Kill a Mockingbird all made it past the first round, and I will say that a Tree Grows in Brooklyn being up against Stardust is basically a personal tragedy) which is damn cool, and minus the fact it's basically a popularity contest for books, the question of why we love what book is one that's just fun to think about.

It's a pretty safe assumption that the majority of kids who grew up in Canada grew up being read the Giving Tree and The Gruffalo. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy made me love science fiction, and told me it's ok to be ridiculous sometimes. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was the first book that made me cry. Mr. Penumbra's is a terrifyingly accurate snapshot of both where I want my career to go, and exactly where I am in life. Stardust will always break my heart in the best possible way.

So beyond the marketing, I kind of love the idea of pitting The Giving Tree against Goodnight Moon because if you made me chose, I actually don't know which way I'd go. It's no easier to me to pit Goodnight Moon over To Kill a Mockingbird. Maybe it should be - American classic versus childhood memory. More to the point, it made me think if I actually had to chose one favourite book - I don't actually know what I would chose. Books that changed my life, books that shifted my worldview, books that made me feel better, not alone, I don't know which way I'd go. It's cool, I'm a Librarian, I know I'm a dork about this stuff.

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