Don’t be surprised if you’re ambushed by happy people in purple while reading on the C-Train this month.

Yesterday kicked-off the national Get Caught Reading campaign and, every Tuesday this month, volunteers will be prowling around transit stations during the morning hours looking for literate commuters, awarding each with a cozy scarf.

“The magic of reading and the escape of a good book is what we’re trying to connect people with,” said Cathy Freer-Leszczynski with the Calgary Public Library. Manmeet Bhullar, MLA Calgary Montrose, boarded a train with volunteers and Transit Teddy — who carried his own oversized book — and found several people enjoying the written word.

“This woman here is a great role model for all of us,” Bhullar said as he hung a red scarf around a woman reading her Metro. “You’ve been caught reading.”

Mahdia Chowdhury, a 21-year-old university student who rides transit daily, was the first Calgarian to receive a scarf.

“It seems like a good idea,” she said, adding she was excited to be a part of it.

To further promote reading, the Central Library will be hosting a launch party on Friday at 7 p.m. that will feature a free concert by Paul Quarrington and his Porkbelly Futures and author/humorist Will Ferguson.

Visit and click on “Calgary Get Caught Reading” for more information.

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