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Melbourne's all Lit up

Melbourne has officially been given the nod as the next UNESCO City of Literature. It will mean the establishment of the Centre for Books and Ideas at the State Library of Victoria.

But will my hometown be able to measure up to Edinburgh, the first Bookopolis? Does it boast fictional creations to measure up to Harry Potter, Inspector Reebus or even Begbie?

Nope, but we have got Andrew Bolt, who responded with his characteristic ascerbic charm that it was a victory for black skivvy wearers everywhere rather than great writers or readers.

For the rest of Melbourne it's good news. Apparently Victoria's capital has more bookshops and buys more newspapers, magazines or books per capita than any other Australian city. And has more than a few lit classics up its sleeve from Power Without Glory to Loaded. I'm not sure how to compare its couple of hundred years of European writing with the long history of Auld Reekie, but it's got its share of page turners.

Other contenders were Vancouver (home of Douglas Coupland) and Kolkata, but obvioulsy they didn't have the skivvies to pull it off this time.