Friday, January 23, 2009

Bookworms gather across the UK

Local libraries are inviting readers to join the largest mass read ever organised in the UK.

Libraries in Bournemouth and Poole are inviting bookworms to join The Lost World Read, which starts nationwide next week.

The largest mass read ever organised in the UK starts on 30 January and participants of all ages are being encouraged to read Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Reader Development Librarian with Bournemouth Libraries, Vickie Goldie explained that The Lost World Read aims to build on the National Year of Reading in 2008.

She hopes The Lost World Read "will get a lot of press attention. It's trying to attract people who don't normally go to libraries. With the credit crunch it's good to point out our libraries are free and we rent DVDs out."

Visitor figures to the libraries rose by 26,000 during 2008 and Ms Goldie expects the number of books loaned out during the year will also have risen. A report on last year's projects is due to be released soon.

The work of Bournemouth libraries has attracted national attention from book publishers, particularly to their blog Book Talk Bournemouth. It has received at least 3,500 hits since Ms Goldie set it up in late 2007.

Publishers HarperCollins have linked the blog to their website and are among a number of companies who now send Bournemouth Libraries "proofs" of upcoming books.

Asked for recommended books for 2009, Ms Goldie's suggestions include Skin and Bones by Tom Bale and she comments: "Stephenie Meyer is just taking the world by storm."

She continues to be very enthusiastic about reading:

"It can take you other places and other worlds, it can change your mood and be very uplifting. There's that whole sensual aspect of it, holding a book, turning the pages and the smell of the paper."

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