This year, Open Book readers used 130 tickets across 8 events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, including Alice Oswald, Alexander McCall Smith, Jo Baker and Nina Stibbe. Our readers came from a number of different organisations, including Deaf Action, Glasgow Women’s Library, The Welcoming, St Joseph’s Care Home and the Grassmarket Community Project (as well as Open Book public groups at The Botanics, National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library), many of whom were visiting the Book Festival for the first time. Over the course of the day, our readers enjoyed lunch or afternoon tea, and were given the opportunity to take in the atmosphere of the Book Festival in a relaxed environment. We are grateful to the many Open Book volunteers, many of whom buddied our readers, who made the day possible!
This year, for the first time, Open Book also had a daily reserved table in the Speigeltent, which meant our regular groups could choose to meet in the Book Festival (rather than their usual locations), and soak up the atmosphere of the festival!
Also, for the second year running, Claire and Marjorie were asked to plan and run Open Book reading workshops as a part of the Book Festival programme. This year, the workshops focussed on the sonnet (ranging from Shakespeare to the sonnets of poets reading at the Book Festival), the short stories of James Kelman, and the poetry and prose of Scotland’s new Makar, Jackie Kay.