Tour ‘Books About Town’, London until 15 September

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.


Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime Begins in Childhood



“A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, chosen by Amazon editors”

Amazon UK have followed their couterparts across the pond and released their list of the 100 books to read in your lifetime.  The idea is to promote reading as a joy, rather than presenting a list that makes you feel inadequate. It is not meant as homework, or as a challenge but, rather to inspire a love of reading from childhood through adulthood.

Of course, as Amazon recognises, everyone will have their own opinion as to which books should appear on the list. They are encouraging the debate and hoping that readers will register at Goodreads  to list their own favourites.

Whether you agree or not, check out the list and if the children’s books on the list aren’t in your library, you might consider adding them to your list for the next birthday in your family.


Forget the Latest Toy the Best Gift is a Love of Reading



The subject line might sound a tad earnest but The Fableists do love kids’ books! We will be featuring book related stories like reviews and interviews on our blog in the coming months.

Like The Fableists’ clothes, treasured books are kept or passed on. I have most of the books from my own childhood. They have moved around the world by now and holding on to them has probably cost a fortune but they’re family heirlooms. Some of them are out of print, some are representative of a time and place, some show that the pages were read over and over by two children (and now four more) and some are signed.

I think every parent worries at some point about their child’s reading and with school systems eager to get kids reading earlier and earlier, the pressure is on, for parents and for the kids. Getting children to love reading is a long term project and can take a lot of effort and patience.books 2

So, how can we get our kids to love (or at least like) to read?

Start young: there is nothing so lovely as having your little one perched on your lap, snuggling and sharing a story. But it is never too late. Y

Younger children are drawn to colourful pages with bits they can touch and feel. Each book is an exciting adventure and you can build on that as they get bigger. For an older child who isn’t so keen, try to find books that suit their interests. I remember one Christmas my brother got Murder at the Superbowl (or something like that) – not exactly a great work of literature but he read it.

Don’t push your readers before they’re ready and always let them take backwards steps. Even a competent reader likes to relax and disappear in to big, colourful pictures. Reading has to be fun. Try graphic novels, comics or funny poems – it’s still reading. Encourage and applaud any reading.


More Books

We make buying books something really special in our family. Same with visiting the library, reading stories and anything around books. Buying books is a treat for our kids. The first place we visit in a town or village is the local book shop. Finding a good children’s book shop is worth its weight in gold. The kids all spread out and find books and sit down and flip through them.

My kids also love going to the library. We try to make it a weekly trip. Let them choose the books they want to read – mine never read the ones I ‘suggest’. If you are trying to build up your own collection of books, libraries are always selling off their old stock to make room for new books. Local boot sales, yard sales, bric-a-brac and antique markets usually have books for sale too. Getting books should be made as special and exciting as getting a toy.

Give your kids as much motivation as possible to be keen on books. Let them see you reading. Make the buying/borrowing of books a special occasion and when you are reading to or with your child, eliminate distractions, sit close to them, talk to your child about the book, let them tell you what they think and give them your undivided attention. If reading is a special family activity, they will learn to share your passion.