This year, Open Book brought around 300 of our readers to the Book Festival over two days.
On Monday 13th August, 120 women and children from Maryhill Integration Network, The Welcoming and a Kurdish-speaking Syrian group attended several events in the Book Festival programme, were treated to two poetry readings (with Arabic translation) accompanied by harp, had private children’s storytelling sessions with Vivian French that were illustrated by Elizabeth Dulemba, and enjoyed a zine-making working with Sasha de Buyl. Each of the families were gifted a copy of The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris, and we then took the group off to the Botanics to meet Jackie Morris and run off some steam before everyone boarded buses for home.
On Friday 17th August, around 125 of our readers from 16 other groups (including Grassmarket Community Project, Bethany Christian Trust, Deaf Action Scotland, Real Life Options, and the Open Door Cafe) attended seven different events at the Book Festival. One of our readers said “I’ve always wanted to come to the Book Festival, but I’ve never been brave enough.”
Founders Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Gill also ran three shared reading groups as a part of the Festival programme (on Life of Pi, Oscar and Lucinda and The English Patient), and Open Book volunteers ran six shared reading sessions in the Festival cafe that were open to the public. We had a great year at the Book Festival, and are already planning our 2019 outing!