Books About Town is a public art event celebrating London’s literary heritage and reading for pleasure.
The exhibition began July 2nd and runs until September 15th. It features 50 unique BookBench sculptures, designed by local artists and famous names to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment. The National The National Literacy Trust worked in conjunction with Wild in Art to bring the ‘books’ to the streets of London.
The public can explore the ‘books’ through a series of trails that connect authors and stories to areas of London. Each trail also has its own quiz to take along with you so that the kiddies can get involved in the project by finding items on the benches and more. It’s a great way to explore an area of London on foot, taking in the sights as well as discovering a bit about the area’s literary history. It’s also an adventure to inspire excitement about the books that are connected to London and reading in general.
The trails are as follows:
The Bloomsbury Trail: The area of Bloomsbury has many well-known literary links, making it an ideal area to host a BookBench Trail. Follow in the footsteps of many famous authors and explore the wonderful green spaces as you discover the BookBenches.
The City Trail: Enjoy some of London’s most iconic sites by following our Books about Town City Trail. The buzzing centre of business and finance also offers glimpses of the original Roman settlement of Londinium. Discover hidden parks and historic buildings at the same time as searching for the BookBenches.
The Greenwich Trail: Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site when you complete our Books about Town Greenwich Trail. The BookBenches are located in the majestic surroundings of the Royal borough, with stunning views across the capital and surrounded by some of the finest architecture in London.
The Riverside Trail: From the curves of City Hall and the sharpness of The Shard, to the standing circles of the Globe, the Books about Town Riverside Trail provides the ideal activity this summer. Discover the range of iconic books depicted on the Riverside BookBench Trail.
You can buy a souvenir poster of the trail you follow, showing all of the benches, from Stanfords for £9.99.
At the end of summer, all the benches will be auctioned to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust’s vital work to raise literacy levels in the UK. They will be sold at public auction on 7 October 2014 at an exclusive event at the Southbank Centre. Tickets can be bought from the Southbank Centre box office. If you are unable to attend the auction in person you can register online to watch particular lots during the auction, bid online and/or place an automatic maximum bid.
The list of artists involved can be found here.
Sponsors of this exhibition are listed here.
Get involved exploring London and share your experiences on the trails on social media using the following links:
For more information, visit the Books About Town web site.