Book Week Scotland and other stories

We’re coming to the end of the first ever Book Week Scotland – but don’t worry if you missed it, there’s still plenty to catch up on at the BWS site and this is very much a book-themed roundup. One of the highlights has been the Book Sculpture Treasure Hunt. As Chris Scott says on Writer Pictures, you’d have to have been living under an internet-free rock for the past couple of years not to have heard of  Edinburgh’s mysterious Book Sculptor, but he provides a handy summary anyway, and some great photos, of the story so far. This week, clues have appeared online daily and five new sculptures have been found in literary locations up and down the country.

Book Sculptures are all very well, but what about books to read? This week the League of Extraordinary Booklovers has been on hand to advise, but once they’ve put their super-powers away, at least two of them will be returning to their own book blogs to help you out at Literature for Lads and Robaroundbooks. Jennifer at Ragdoll Books Blog was inspired by BWS to write about her top ten Scottish books and, from as far away as Mississippi no less, the Well-Read Wife offers advice on 10 things to buy a book lover: Book Week Scotland edition. Libraries are, of course, a terrific place to find reading advice, and throughout the country they have thrown themselves into BWS with gusto. There are too many to mention, but I can’t resist the idea of Magi Gibson’s guerrilla writers from Glasgow Women’s Library and the knitting group at Leith Library knitting their very own Scotland.

All the book sculptures came tagged with the phrase “Because reading matters”. Not every child has the privilege of growing up in a house where this is true and, I know it’s been mentioned before but I make no apologies for repeating it, there are some great initiatives to get books into the hands of vulnerable children this Christmas. I’ve summarised some of them over on my Children’s Literature blog. Continuing the theme of catching ’em young, children’s author Lynne Rickards writes about the Patrons of Reading scheme which she’d like to see spreading to schools in Scotland.

We’ve been celebrating books, but there’s been sadness too. Clair wrote in Roundup a couple of weeks ago about Caden Beggan, the wee boy who was then fighting for his life in Yorkhill. Caden’s funeral was this week and friend TraumaQueen posted this moving tribute to the family. Last Year’s Girl uses a Hollyoaks storyline about cyber-bullying to reflect on her own experiences of bullying as a child. She survived but not all do - some young people are driven to suicide, a theme Beauty from Pain picks up, pointing out that two people lost to suicide in Scotland every day is “Two too many”, the name of a new campaign from the Scottish Association of Mental Health. Sue Lyons wonders at National Collective what sort of country we live in, and whether Scotland on its own would handle welfare better than the UK. Reading her case studies certainly makes you think we couldn’t do much worse.

But let’s get back to the celebratory to end on a high. It was, of course, St Andrew’s Day on Friday and How to be a gourmand celebrates Scottish food bloggers in its honour. Warning: do not open that link if you are hungry. It’s always interesting to hear about people discovering Scotland for the first time – South African Carrot Killer is excited to have conquered her first Munro and has some wonderful pictures of Ben Lomond. She also has an excellent book review section to her blog, which brings me neatly back to my starting point. So here ends the Book Week Scotland Roundup. Normal service will be resumed next week.



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