If you are out and about in the city of London this summer keep your eyes peeled for some new and very special book-shaped benches that have popped up along the capital’s streets. This is not a new government initiative to provide public seating, but in fact the new project launched by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Wild in Art: Books about Town. The project celebrates London’s literary heritage and aims to promote reading for pleasure, following the unveiling of new research revealing that children’s enjoyment of reading has increased for the first time in eight years.
There are 50 benches in total, each bench dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character and has been decorated by some of the country’s top artists and illustrators. The decorations cover a broad spectrum of some of our most treasured book characters from Sherlock Holmes and Bridget Jones to The Gruffalo and Paddington Bear. As well as celebrating the authors behind the stories, benches can be found dedicated to George Orwell, Malorie Blackman, Jaqueline Wilson, Charles Darwin and many more! To find your favourite why not take a look at the full list.
You can also track the benches on specially created literary trails around Greenwich, the City, Riverside and Bloomsbury – the details of which can be found on the newly launched website. The benches will be displayed until mid-September and auctioned at the Southbank Centre on 7th October, to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust.
Here at Inspired, our passion for books stretches beyond the pages, and what with our London office sitting amidst the heart of London’s literary genius’s, literally in the building where poet John Keats once made his home, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to go and scout out some of the nearby benches ourselves along the Riverside trail.
On our travels we managed to seek out the War Horse Bench dedicated to children’s classic of print, stage and screen by Michael Morpurgo and the delightful homage to the legendary characters created by the harmonious partnership between Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson.
It really is a treat to see such beautiful tributes to London’s literary talents. So if you’re nearby this summer don’t miss out – take a seat, sink into a book and soak up the city.
Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter