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The '100-Mile Book Diet': Could it work for you?

Canadian website 49th Shelf has started a 'read local' campaign, urging readers to adopt the '100-Mile Book Diet.'

By Staff Writer / June 15, 2012

The interactive map on Canadian book site 49th Shelf allows readers to find books based on location or add titles for others.

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“Local” is a word that’s been all over the place in terms of eating and shopping, and now it’s made its way into the book world as well.

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The Canadian book site 49th Shelf has started a campaign titled “Read Local: The 100-Mile Book Diet,” which urges readers to take on books that are set within 100 miles of their homes.

The site has an interactive map that allows site users to find books based on location or add titles for others. For example, “Consumption” a debut novel by Kevin Patterson, was added to the federal territory of Nunavut in Canada because the novel takes place in Rankin Inlet, an area in Nunavut, and is full of local detail.

Julie Wilson, who is the website host for 49th Shelf, told the CBC that she believes the diversity of Canada makes it a perfect fit for the project.

“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,” Wilson said. “By asking readers to literally put a book on a map, we provide yet another means of coming to know our country.”

The map on 49th Shelf will have certain themes throughout the summer, including a planned "Eat Your Way Across Canada" motif, according to the 49th Shelf website.

What about your neighborhood? Would a "100-Mile Book Diet" make sense there? And if so, would you adopt it?

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