A National Reading Celebration

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More than 350 free events are planned for Scotland’s first national celebration of reading, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.

Ms Hyslop was at the National Library of Scotland to unveil the full programme for Book Week Scotland, organised by Scottish Book Trust and taking place between November 26 and December 2, 2012.

A diverse programme of book-related events will be held across the nation, including several hosted by some of Scotland’s best-loved authors.

Highlights will include:

  • a pack of three free picture books for all Primary 1 schoolchildren in Scotland
  • a pop-up book festival at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow
  • the distribution of 150,000 free copies of My Favourite Place – a collection of stories and poems written by the people of Scotland
  • a national Reading Hour on St Andrew’s Day
  • A band of volunteers, aged from five to 75 years old, will form a ‘League of Extraordinary Book Lovers’ to answer book-related questions and make reading recommendations throughout the week
  • Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) Scotland will open its Transcription Centre in Partick, inviting people to learn how to produce a book for someone with sight loss, or create a piece of work in Braille
  • author-led events will include Iain Banks in Loch Leven, Val McDermid in Orkney, Debi Gliori in Carnoustie, Janice Galloway in Benbecula, Christopher Brookmyre in Greenock, Vivian French in Glenrothes, and many more.

Speaking at the launch event, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“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 be Scotland’s first national celebration of reading. It 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 – during the Year of Creative Scotland –  for the people of Scotland to celebrate our exceptional literary talent, our history of literary excellence and our rich creativity.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Book Week Scotland has been designed to be as accessible, entertaining and beneficial as possible to the people of Scotland. Hundreds of partners across the country and beyond the cultural sector have contributed enthusiastically to this joint enterprise.

“At a time when changes in the world of publishing tend to dominate the headlines, our message is simple: reading is one of humankind’s greatest inventions and is here to stay.

“Reading is entertaining, informative, and enormously beneficial to the individual and so to the health of a national culture. Scots are readers and Scotland is a reading nation. This is a celebration of that, and of the enormous writing talent we are lucky enough to have at our fingertips.”

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“Book Week Scotland is a national celebration of books and reading, in this the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.  We encourage as many people as possible to get involved, read, share and celebrate the enjoyment of getting lost in a book, new or old.  As a nation we have an abundance of literary excellence and rich diversity across all genres, this is a great opportunity to explore your imagination through the written word.”

Initiated by the Scottish Government, Book Week Scotland will be delivered on behalf of Creative Scotland by Scottish Book Trust, the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland.  Partners include Scottish Libraries and Information Council, Publishing Scotland, National Library of Scotland, and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature.

The development of Book Week Scotland was supported with £150,000 from Creative Scotland’s National Events programme, which is funded by the National Lottery.

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