New Brunswick — This holiday season, New Brunswickers are using their down-time to cozy up with the province’s latest paperback bestseller: the 2015 Sears Christmas Wish Book. The hotly anticipated book is the latest in a long series of yearly publications, with this newest installment enjoying a substantial uptick in readership after winning the province’s coveted N.B. Book’er Prize for literature.
The Sears Wish Book, known among its fans as simply “the Christmas catalogue,” has ignited the imaginations of readers of all ages for more than half a century, and many families have fond memories of eagerly anticipating the latest copy during the long, hot summer months, checking the mailbox every day with bated breath.
“The books really spoke to me growing up,” says lifelong reader Ethan Wallace, 28. “I could never get behind other series like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones — they are so big, with so many words, and not enough pictures. The Sears catalogue is much closer to my reading level and, I think, the reading level of most other New Brunswickers. I think that explains why it is so accessible and popular around here.”
Wallace went on to explain the artistry of weaving different plot lines through the magazine’s sections, like the story of how one boy, seen in the catalogue’s early pages playing with some GI Joe toys with his siblings, reappears sporadically throughout the book, sometimes clad in a brand-new winter jacket playing outside with friends, other times helping his parents break in a brand-new waffle-maker, accompanied by what appears to be a different family every time.
It was the striking impact of this visual storytelling that won the catalogue this year’s N.B. Book’er prize, the province’s highest literary award. The Wish Book beat out stiff competition, including the Home Hardware Labour Day Weekend flyer, the Coffee News placemats from Hynes restaurant in Moncton, and the heavy favourite, the 2015 Johnny’s Coupon Book.
A source close to Sears told The Manatee that there are currently talks of selling the catalogue’s movie rights to a Hollywood studio interested in a big-screen adaptation of the book. Early negotiations are underway for Ryan Gosling to star as the male pajama model, and Megan Fox as one of the women of the lingerie section that pre-teen boys ogle in secret when their parents are in the other room.