Despite advances in technology and a plethora of screen-based entertainment available at our fingertips, one analogue pastime that has stood the test of time is the simple act of reading a book.
From reading stories to our children, to getting hooked on a murder mystery plot, to tackling one of the more challenging classics, losing oneself in a good book never loses its appeal.
The magic of books will be celebrated from November 15 to 21 during Book Week Scotland, with a programme of events throughout Tayside and Fife.
A celebration of libraries
A social media campaign, #ILoveMyLibrary, will also encourage the public to share their memories of their favourite or local library. Top authors in Scotland will also join the campaign, celebrating the library they most treasure.
This year marks a decade of Book Week Scotland, “a massive milestone”, said Marc Lambert, CEO of the Scottish Book Trust.
“Over the last 10 years, Book Week Scotland has become a highlight of Scotland’s literary calendar.
“It is where communities all over Scotland gather together to have conversations with writers and other readers, and where individuals all over the country share their love of books and the books they love.
“We look forward to celebrating Book Week Scotland with a fantastic line-up, with events both online and in person.
“Last year alone, we reached 292,000 people through free events. Book Week Scotland would not be possible without the many libraries, bookshops, community groups and schools that take part.”
In Dundee, there will be a family story session with Erin Farley, author of Angus Folk Tales, on November 15 at Hub Community Library. She will tell tales of magical creatures like broonies and dragons and legends of ancient battles.
Meanwhile, at Central Library on the same date, fans of Chekhov are invited to discuss one of his most remarkable stories, Gusev, at the Story Cafe in the library.
For those who prefer something a little quirkier, Louise Murphy and Stewart Heaton of Dark Dundee Tours will share stories from their latest two books charting the dark side of the city’s history including murders, freak accidents and the supernatural. That event will take place on November 18 at Central Library.
Brechin and Angus Book Festival
Over in Angus, the Brechin and Angus Book Festival (November 19-21) will have its own programme of author talks, book sales, signings, competitions and children’s sessions.
Participating authors include Wendy Jones, award-winning writer of the popular DI Shona McKenzie mysteries, film-maker and novelist Charles Harris who will discuss the state of journalism today, and Chris Longmuir, whose crime novels Night Watcher and Dead Wood have won the Scottish Association of Writers Pitlochry Award.
For those interested in writing something themselves, there will be a series of creative writing workshops run by the Byre Writers in St Andrews at North East Fife Community Hub on November 19.
Foodies will have the opportunity to explore the Fife Coastal Path at Leven, virtually, with author Chris Trotter who will showcase fish and shellfish caught in the waters local to Leven and food grown in the local area using photos, videos and stories. He will then cook a selection of recipes from his new book, Coasts and Waters: The British Seafood Cookbook, in real-time.
In Perthshire best-selling novelist Jenny Colgan will talk about her latest book, The Christmas Bookshop, at Milnathort Town Hall on November 16, while on the following day Tracy Emerson and Tendai Huchu will discuss the importance of place in literature at Perth College UHI Library. Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of The Scottish Library and Information Council, said: “Libraries will be hosting events connecting communities and ensuring everyone across the country can meet like-minded individuals, and enjoy all that the week has to offer.
“We will also be celebrating Mobile Libraries Day as part of Book Week Scotland, which allows us to recognise the vital role that our mobile libraries play in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, as well as for those who are not able to visit their own local library regularly. Reading is Scotland’s favourite pastime, and we look forward to sharing in the country’s love of books.”
For the complete programme of Scottish events, visit www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland