With only weeks to go until Scotlandâ€™s annual national celebration of books and reading, communities across the country are gearing up for a week-long programme of events, activities and projects that will run from 24 to 30 November 2014.
Hundreds of free book-related events will pop up in a diverse range of locations across Scotland, including some of Scotlandâ€™s best-loved writers and illustrators appearing at a major programme of events held in libraries, funded by TheÂ Scottish Library and Information CouncilÂ (SLIC).
Highlights in the Lothians include:
Doug Allan – the adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman, Brunton Theatre, East Lothian, 24 November, 19:30 – 21:00
Doug Allan is one of the worldâ€™s best known and respected cameramen, recognised for his work on series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet. Heâ€™s also the author of Freeze Frame – The Adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman on Ice. (ticketed)
Horace the Haggis book signing, Haddington Library, East Lothian, 26 November 2014, 17:00 – 17:30, Free (unticketed)
Author Sally Magnusson will sign copies of her very popular Horace the Haggis books.
The Land of Witch and Sea, Dalkeith Library, Midlothian, 27 November, 14:00 – 15:00, Free (unticketed)
Ruby the Mergirl comes out of the sea to explore the world on dry land, only to meet the wickedest witch ever â€“ local author Moira Cormack reads from her debut novel and explains her inspirations for writing. Ages 9-12 years.
An Evening with Lea Taylor, Gorebridge Library, Midlothian, 27 November, 19:00 – 20:30, Free (unticketed)
Join us for Scottish stories and songs with local storyteller Lea Taylor. A fun, participatory and interactive repertoire of stories and songs taken from a wide variety of genres.
Tales in the Tower, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, 24-30 November, 11:00, 14:00, 16:00, (ticketed)
Literary themed tours in St Giles Cathedral will take visitors up to the newly opened roof space where they can enjoy unique views across the city while listening to tales and poems about St Giles and Edinburgh.
Artworks in Libraries
Stockbridge Library and Musselburgh Library are two of five libraries around the country that have been selected to receive new artworks as part of Book Week Scotland. The artworks are inspired by Dear Library, a poem written by best-selling Scottish author Jackie Kay and will be unveiled on 24 (Stockbridge) and 25 (Musselburgh) November.
In addition to this, three free picture books will be gifted to every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland. Children who are just setting off on their reading journey will receive a copy of Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor and Ross Collins, Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray and Lost for Words by Natalie Russell, all of which are contenders in the Bookbug category for the Scottish Childrenâ€™s Book Awards 2015.
Young children can also get into the Book Week Scotland spirit by tuning in to watch two of Britainâ€™s best loved poets, Roger McGough and Valerie Bloom, bringing rhythm and rhyme to life during a special free author webcast on 27 November at 11.00am. Many pupils will also enjoy a personal visit from Steve Cole, author of Astrosaurs and Cows in Action, who will tour schools around the country during the week.
If your library is important to you, Book Week Scotland is your chance to declare your feelings. Book lovers are being encouraged to take part in the Love Letter to Your Library campaign to raise awareness about the crucial role libraries play in the lives of individuals and communities. You can post, email or drop off positive stories directly to your favourite library, or pop in and read letters written by members of the public, authors and celebrities. Five large library artworks will also be unveiled across Scotland in North Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh and The Shetland Islands.
Book Week Scotlandâ€™s Reading Pledge campaign will serve as a gentle motivation to pick up that book youâ€™ve been meaning to read, share a story with your child each night or simply pass on a much-loved book to a neighbour. Be sure to share your pledge on social media and donâ€™t forget to carry it out during the week!
For those who would prefer to spend the week in splendid isolation getting lost in some beautiful stories, 150,000 free copies of a short story and poem collection written by Scottish people, Scotlandâ€™s Stories of Home, will be distributed throughout the week via libraries, bookshops and other outlets. Schools will also receive an e-publication featuring Scottish pupilâ€™s stories of home.
In a fitting end to a week celebrating the wonders of the written word, Scottish Book Trust will reveal the nationâ€™s favourite characters from Scottish books â€“ will Harry Potter swoop to victory, will Miss Jean Brodie sweep the board, or will they both be frightened off by The Gruffalo? Votes can be cast via the Book Week Scotland website and the top 10 characters will be revealed on Friday 28 November.
For more information about Book Week Scotland 2014 and how you can get involved, visit www.bookweekscotland.com, where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area, make your own Reading Pledge and discover a whole host of resources and ideas to help you celebrate and share whatever it is you love to read.