Wednesday, 23 April 2014

World Book Night No.16

Tonight is World Book Night.

World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books which takes place on 23 April. It sees passionate volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.

It is run by The Reading Agency - the charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. Because everything changes when we read.

In the UK 35% of people don’t regularly read despite reading for pleasure being a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health.

World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph until they too have discovered the power of reading and the opportunities in life that reading can open the door to.

For World Book Night events in London visit the World Book Night Website

To mark the occasion, we're reblogging 24 classics (one every hour!) from our London Walks Reading List series…

The Great London Reading List! Essential London books that Londoners take away on holiday to remind them of home… books visitors should read before arriving in London… fact, fiction, poetry, all genres welcome. If you’re in the mood to recommend a great London bookshop, too, we’d love to hear it!  All suggestions to the usual address, please, or leave a comment below or get in touch via Twitter @londonwalks.

Here's Kim

Books - I could go on all day and night so if I have to restrict myself to one and if I put myself in the position of someone who wants a good story and to discover the history of the city then head for Edward Rutherfurd's "London".  

An epic novel that begins with the birth of the Thames, takes us through Roman era and to the medieval, jumps to the Tudor and Puritan 17th century and then we are jumping through the centuries to come right up to date.  There are wonderful characters who are skilfully woven together so that families overlap through generations and we know, but they don't, exactly where they've come from.  

It was such a good read when I first encountered this that I bought the one for New York and read that before I made my first visit there.  It was perfect.  I  had a great overview of the development of Manhattan, Brooklyn and further afield and I knew what I was looking at.  For someone trying to get to grips with London this is a great start with a story.

In fact, it's the perfect complement to The London History Course run by London Walks.  This series of walks led by different guides run on Saturday afternoons in the 2.30pm Repertory slot. Take every walk or pick and choose but they start at the beginning of September.   If you want to catch me I turn up to show you Tudor London on 21 September and Georgian London on 5 October, both at Chancery Lane but heading out in completely different directions.

Kim, who has worked in the House of Commons and the European Parliament, is another 24-carat Blue Badge Guide: she won the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year award in 2001.

World Book Night falls on the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. To mark the occasion, here's the BRAND NEW London Walks Podcast, Shakespeare & London…

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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