August 21, 2014

Books About Town, London Writing Benches

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

If you live in London or are traveling there this summer, you are probably aware of the BookBenches around various London neighborhoods. Summer 2014 from July 2 - September 15 the Books about Town project,sponsored by The National Literacy Trust, is a treat for every reader and writer. "Established in 1993, the National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that gives people the skills they need to succeed. Our Patron is Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall."

The bench information can be found online with an interactive map of each bench location. There are 50 different benches to see. The link to the maps in four different parts of the city; Greenwich Trail, Bloomsbury Trail, City Trail and Riverside Trail.

The trails are grouped to highlight the charm and settings in the various neighborhoods of London. All benches are shaped as open books and decorated to represent a specific book by various authors, both contemporary and classic. "Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site when you complete the 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 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." 

"Enjoy some of London's most iconic sites by following the 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." Notice the brilliant placement of the Shakespeare bench in front of "The Globe Theatre." 

"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."

Another terrific feature is a "Summer Reading Pack full of activities you can download for free and do with your children to encourage them to love reading.

Included in the pack are activities for each of the four trails, quizzes to complete and you can even design and colour your own BookBench! Our list of books featured on the benches is divided by age category, so it is even easier to find the perfect book for you child. Download the Summer Reading Pack for free and get started today!"

You can also follow the book benches on Instagram, Twitter @booksabouttown, and on Facebook for all the latest news and updates on Books about Town.

If you find yourself across the pond, find a BookBench that calls your muse and write a new story. This inspirational setting may give you the next classic. My pick would be Sherlock Holmes bench. What do you have to lose and which bench would you choose? 

Okay, so you can't make it to London. I'm with you, but you can download a picture of your favorite BookBench and get inspired. You can also design your own BookBench based on your books. Use that imagination and design your own BookBench, hang it in your office, and visualize your BookBench in your town. 

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