Readers, rejoice! A book swap bus will be taking to the streets of Brighton and Hove this Thursday (30 March) as part of Brighton Festival.
It’s a step up from City Reads’ popular book swap boxes – an idea inspired by local crime thriller writer William Shaw and supported by local businesses including the Redwood Cafe.
Donated for the day for English Tourism Week, the book swap bus will sit by Brighton Palace Pier from 11 am until 5 pm. Avid readers can come to the bus and share books informally and anonymously, exchanging old favourites for something new to read.
It’s an idea based on, and run in conjunction with, City Reads. This award-winning community reading scheme is the largest and longest-running ‘big read’ event for adults.
The idea is simple – everyone in town gets 10 weeks to read the same book. A series of discussions, debates, workshops and performances ensue, meaning the book brings the community together.
This year’s book is British Asian author Sharon Duggal’s debut novel The Handsworth Times. Set in 1981, the captivating tale follows one family’s struggle in Thatcher’s fractured Britain – a struggle which remains topical in the political and social climate of 2017.
Sharon said: “What an absolute honour to have my novel chosen for City Reads 2017. It is quite a special thing to know that people from all walks of life across the city where I live will be coming together to read my book, just as I have done with many previous City Reads selections. The Handsworth Times is ultimately a book about the hope we find in other people and it will be such a pleasure to have the opportunity to get out there and share the story with so many different people.”
But the kids don’t get left out – Young City Reads runs alongside the adult event, enabling the children of Brighton and Hove to read, explore, discuss and creatively engage with a selected author.
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said: ‘We are delighted that City Reads and Young City Reads are part of Brighton Festival again this year – building on our strong relationship with Collected Works through other partnership projects such as Young City Reads and Adopt an Author. The importance of empathy and community is central to our Guest Director Kate Tempest’s vision for the Festival as a whole, making Sharon Duggal’s powerful debut particularly fitting as a choice for City Reads.”
This year’s Brighton Festival will run from 6 May to 28 May. For more information, including full event listings, click here.
City Reads is running until 24 May. For the scheme’s full programme of events, click here.