Book Week Scotland 2016
I love books. My whole life I have. I can remember being teeny and making my mama read the same books over and over every night before I went to bed as I would get so attached to certain stories and that love never left me. All through primary and high school right through to now. Books for me have never been about escaping life but rather enhancing it. Books have helped shape me as a person, they have made me learn, educated me better than any teacher ever has, they have made me mad, sad, informed and above all really, really happy. I have never taken them for granted and even though I have always felt so lucky in my life that my mama always tried to make sure I grew up in a world surrounded by books, I know it wasn't always easy. Books aren't cheap and libraries unfortunately cant possibly carry every book and I know there was many of times when I was wee that I had simply read every book in my local library that was appropriate for my age so when I hear about things that people do to make reading and books more accessible and available for everyone, it always makes me happy.
And that how I feel about Book Trust Scotland. It's a national charity that believes books have the power to change lives. The charity aims to bring books and reading to everyone in Scotland, irrelevant of your income or your reading ability. They give out free books to children from nursery age and that carries on through to primary school. They have an adult learning program that helps people with low literacy and they champion, support and mentor people in Scotland who want to learn and educate themselves on how to become writers and illustrators.
They believe that learning to read and falling in love with books at a young can really shape your life, you will learn about other worlds, other people so unlike yourself. Also for young people and teenagers they believe that reading about people who are going through or have gone through similar things to them can make them feel less alone and included in the world.
I have always been aware of the work that Book Trust Scotland does but it wasn't until my nieces and nephews started coming in from nursery and school with bags laden down with so many glossy, brand spanking new books that it really hit me how important the work is that they do and how lucky we are in Scotland to have them.
I'm writing about them today because its now officially Book Week Scotland which is a week that is organised by the book trust. This week is crazy, seriously they have the most amazing events all over the whole of Scotland with some of the biggest writers from all over the world taking part. They also have a ton of events to take part in too. The book week is there to kind of give everyone a push to get out and read and remind everyone about the work the trust does.
Even though the Book Week features many authors from many different places, the emphasis is on Scottish writers and to showcase how many amazing talented people we have in our country.
We all know the world is, well a little crazy at the moment right? And that's why I think its a pretty beautiful thing that these talented people might not have all been born here, they might even now live in other places in this world but that's the thing about being Scottish it doesn't matter where your from originally or where you live now, if you will have us, we will have you, no questions asked and we will celebrate you. Scottish is a state of mind people haha! (Not to get all political but if you haven't heard THIS speech yet about this very subject have a listen)
You can find out about all the events that the Book Week has going on and you can also see tons of recommendations for new books and help on finding which one you should read next. Its a great website and it has a ton of information for all ages too.
In honour of the Book Week I wanted to list below some of my favourite 'Scottish' books in case any of you wanted to take part this year and read some books by Scottish authors. Here is a few of my favourites for you, I'm not reviewing them but know that I loved them all and they all have my seal of approval...
1. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh - A pretty intense book but such a powerful read. It also has more swearing in it than you might have ever read in your life...But a really special book.
2. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark - This is a very short book but it really is a must read in my book (no pun intended) Funny, intense, interesting and thought provoking.
3. Peter Pan - J.M Barrie - This is maybe one of my all time favourite stories. It for me is one of the most beautiful tales ever told. If you've never read the original please do...
4. The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler There are not enough numbers in the world to count how many times I have now read this book to my nieces and nephews over the years. It's the one they want on a loop and the one they learn the words to, its funny and sweet, cute and weird. Everything you want from a children's classic. Special mention must go to The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom too. Another two classics.
5. The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns - The main man himself. The one thing that I'm actually thankful to my high school for is forcing me to study Robert Burns because if they hadn't I might not have taken the time to really learn and 'get' his work on my own and honestly that would have been really sad as his work to me is some of the most beautiful words ever written.
So if your in Scotland this week and looking for something to do then check out all the BWS events and if your anywhere else in the world have a look at their website for some more information about what they do and how they might be able to help bring books into your life.