The National Library of Scotland was abuzz yesterday, as Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop launched the Book Week Scotland programme.
Taking place between 26th November and 2nd December, Scotland’s inaugural celebration of reading will feature many of the nation’s most beloved authors. With Val McDermid appearing in Orkney and Iain Banks popping up in Loch Leven, and Janice Galloway in Benbecula and Christopher Brookmyre at Greenock, it seems that no corner of Scotland remains untouched, as Book Week Scotland unleashes more than 350 FREE events across the country.
Introducing the programme at yesterday’s launch, Hyslop had the following to say:
This excellent programme is bursting with fantastic opportunities for everyone in Scotland, of all ages and with all interests, to embark or continue on a reading journey. Book Week Scotland will encourage the whole nation to embrace reading’s unique capacity for personal enrichment, education, solace, pleasure and growth.
The week will also provide a platform for the people of Scotland to celebrate our exceptional literary talent, our history of literary excellence and our rich creativity.
On Saturday 1st December, Glasgow’s Mitchell Library is set to play host to the Book Week Scotland Pop-Up Festival. With the day’s programme packed full of author visits, writing workshops and literary debates, this one-day festival is set to be one of the highlights of the week.
In support of Book Week Scotland, a national ‘reading hour’ is also planned. Taking place on St. Andrew’s Day, Friday 30th November, the people of Scotland will be encouraged to break with their morning routine at precisely 11am, and join the nation in an hour of collective reading.
During this weekly celebration of all things bookish, 150,000 free copies of My Favourite Place – a collection of inspiring stories of Scotland written by guest authors such as Michel Palin, Alexander McCall Smith and Alisdair Gray – will also be distributed to public libraries, bookshops, National Trust properties, ferry terminals and more than 60 Specsavers branches across the nation. The book will also be available to download, both in ebook and audiobook formats.
To support Book Week Scotland, a band of volunteer literary lovers dubbed ‘The League of Extraordinary Booklovers’ will also be on hand to answer book-related questions and guide those who may seek recommendations on which books to read.
As part of the Book Week Scotland celebrations, every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland will also be given their very own Bookbug Primary 1 Family Pack. Comprised of three picture books from Scottish authors John Fardell, Julia Donaldson and Catherine Rayner, the pack, which will be presented in a canvas bag. Anna Gibbons, Early Years (Bookbug) Programme Manager, Scottish Book Trust, comments:
We’re very proud to give the Bookbug Primary 1 family pack to Scotland’s 60,000 five-year-olds. We very much hope the packs provide a link between the classroom, home and local libraries, helping parents and carers to support children as they begin to learn to read at school. Most importantly though these are 3 great books for parents and children to enjoy sharing together.
For further details on Book Week Scotland, please visit the Book Week Scotland website. Book Week Scotland can also be followed on Twitter, with related tweets using the #BWS2012 hashtag. The event also has a Facebook page. A PDF version of the Book Week Scotland programme, can also be found