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First National Celebration Of Reading

29th November 2012

Scotland’s first ever national celebration of reading is happening this week.

From 26 November until December 2, Book Week Scotland is encouraging everyone in the country, of all ages and with all interests, to embark or continue on a reading journey.

A manifesto commitment, Book Week Scotland was initiated by the Scottish Government and is being delivered on behalf of Creative Scotland by Scottish Book Trust, the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland.

Throughout Book Week Scotland, a programme of more than 350 free events are being held across the country, including several led by some of Scotland’s best-loved authors.

Highlights of the week are:

Events led by 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.

Every Primary 1 child in Scotland will receive a pack of three free picture books by leading authors and a specially commissioned book in Scots.

150,000 free copies of a specially commissioned book ‘My Favourite Place' will be given away at train stations, on CalMac ferries, in Specsavers stores and at many more locations throughout the country.

There will be a national Reading Hour from 11am until midday on St Andrew’s Day, encouraging Scots to read privately, read to others, or attend one of several Reading Hour events.

A flagship Reading Hour event will be held at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, incorporating activities for all ages led by leading Scottish authors.

On December 1 there will be a pop-up festival at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow, featuring a packed programme of events for all ages throughout the day.

The League of Extraordinary Book Lovers - a band of volunteer enthusiasts aged from five to 75 years old – are on hand throughout Book Week Scotland to answer book-related questions or make reading recommendations.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“After months of planning and preparation, Book Week Scotland is capturing the collective imagination of our creative nation.

“Scotland’s first national celebration of reading, it is encouraging the whole country to embrace reading’s unique capacity for personal enrichment, education, solace, pleasure and growth.

“The week is an opportunity – during the Year of Creative Scotland - to celebrate our exceptional literary talent, our history of literary excellence and our rich culture.

“Scottish Book Trust have created a diverse and innovative programme of events that is bursting with fantastic opportunities for everyone in Scotland to enjoy and celebrate reading. There’s something to whet every appetite regardless of age, ability or reading preference.

“For those who want to engage in Book Week Scotland but aren’t sure how, the League of Extraordinary Book Lovers are on hand to dish out advice and reading recommendations.

"And on Friday we’ll be encouraging everyone to celebrate our national day and our nation’s love of reading by taking part in the Reading Hour.

“The Scottish Government is firmly committed to increasing learning through the arts and culture, and to promoting the value of taking part in cultural activity. Through Book Week Scotland, we are engaging the whole of Scotland in these important aims.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:“The spirit of Book Week Scotland is about celebrating reading, and the real power reading has to change lives. We invite everyone in the country to savour Scottish writing and writers, as well as authors from across the world. The Reading Hour on St Andrew's Day is an open invitation to explore great books and rediscover the pleasure gained from the simple act of turning a page and beginning a reading journey."

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. Partners include Scottish Libraries and Information Council, Publishing Scotland, National Library of Scotland, and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature.

Scottish Book Trust is the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland. It develops innovative projects to encourage adults and children to read and write, supports professional writers in a number of projects including skills development, works closely with schools to create resources for teachers, funds a variety of literature events and promotes Scottish writing to millions of people worldwide.

The Year of Creative Scotland 2012 is spotlighting, celebrating and promoting Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage, and positioning Scotland as one of the world’s most creative nations to audiences at home and across the world. Through a dynamic year-long programme of activity we are celebrating our world-class events, festivals, artistic and cultural heritage.