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Scottish book week 2012

By Fiona Mearns | 26 November 2012

Book week

At 11 a.m. on St Andrew’s Day thousands of people across Scotland will stop what they’re doing and read. Hopefully, the country won’t grind to a halt but what a fantastic thought – all those noses in books for an hour.  As a self-confessed bibliophile, it’s my idea of bliss.


The Reading Hour is part of a week-long series of events run by the Scottish Book Trust to celebrate the place books have in our lives.  For some, reading is a solitary activity, best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a comfy chair; for others, it is more of a communal activity to be shared in book groups, libraries and schools.  Some of my most enduring childhood memories are book-centred: buying my first Enid Blyton book (which I still have, by the way), the smell of the mobile library, listening intently to Bernard Cribbins reading the Paddington Bear stories on Jackanory.


So, I pondered, how can we be generous and celebrate our love of books at the same time?  Well, it turns out that there are more options than you might think.  Here are some of the ones I came up with but you may have more ideas:


  • Have a clear out and give your old books to charity shops.  My personal favourite is the bookshop at Pitlochry station platform.
  • Hold your own book sale and donate the proceeds to a cause.
  • Volunteer to read: primary schools and playgroups are delighted to hear from volunteers willing to read to groups of children.  This is also a great way for churches to link to their local schools.
  • Think about offering your time to read books or newspapers to benefit those with sight impairments.  Our local paper, the Strathearn Herald offers such a scheme. Get in touch with the Association of Scottish Talking Newspapers to find out if there are volunteer groups in your area.
  • Support the Scottish Bible Society to bring bibles to rural parts of China. See for yourself the excitement created by the arrival of a shipment of bibles:
  • Or you could take a leaf out of my book (sorry) and volunteer a few hours a week to a local Christian Bookshop or maybe set up a book stall at your church.

It could be the start of a new chapter for you . . . .

Other Links: for other reading-related opportunities

Comrie Book Group and the 2011 Booker Prize authors:

The Seeing Ear

RNIB National Library service

Posted by Fiona Mearns

Fiona Mearns is the Resourcing Christian Workers Coordinator at Stewardship and part of a team committed to helping individuals build and maintain strong, sustainable support networks.  She loves to write whenever there’s an opportunity and is a fan of a well-used apostrophe.


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