Recently I was looking around the internet at possible future travel locations and ended up reading all about Scotland. What I found to be so fascinating about Scotland is not only that rugged beauty, but that the Scots have a deep love and appreciation of books and literacy. So much so, that they have a week long celebration of books every year in November. So I did a little more digging and it turns out that it was just last week. What is so remarkable, okay there are quite a few things that are remarkable, but the first is that its book week for all genres, here in the states we have Children’s Book Week and Banned Book Week. Still cool, but not exactly the same thing. What I loved most about Scotland’s Book Week is that it is about all aspects of books – early literacy programs and book gifting, writing of books, inspiring readers and writers, funding literacy events, outreach for needy families, online lists and resources for all book lovers. The Scottish Book Trust website is complete with lots of resources, fun articles and my personal favorite – book lists. Check it out here.
Another fun aspect is that I’m currently obsessed with is a mystery book sculptor, who hides (her, people believe it may be a woman) amazing sculptures all around Edinburgh. These mysterious sculptures have been hidden around the city since 2011. What is so neat is that the citizens of Edinburgh have been on a scavenger hunt, if you will, to find these sculptures. They are usually left at a Scottish historical site or points of literary interest. The sculptures come with a message about literacy and the importance of books and literacy. They are amazing.
I’m rather obsessed with how fun this is, in 2012 the sculptor created five sculptures and hid them around the city for Book Week. They released online clues as to where they would be hidden, when they were found the “winners” received a smaller sculpture and the honor of being awesome and finding the sculpture. So much fun.
Next Wigtown, this is where I want to go, it is a town that was named Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998, this charming little town has everything a book lover could ask for, 20 businesses dedicated to books. Its own book festival. This is where I get super excited, I found this on their website:
The Open Book is a six-month project run by Wigtown Festival Company. The project will invite members of the public to apply to help run a real bookshop in Scotland’s National Book Town in Wigtown for a period of between 2 and 6 weeks and to blog about their experience. Training will be given in bookselling, and help will be provided by Wigtown’s community of booksellers, who will also offer practical and moral support.
WHAT?! Amazing, right? If you want to check this out go to their website.
Finally, and I think I may have saved the best for last here, Leakey’s Bookshop and Café which is Scotland’s largest secondhand bookshop. It is in Inverness and just looks cool, it looks like it smells amazing…all you will need to be in complete bliss is a cup of tea, a drizzly afternoon and a wallet full of pounds….oh yeah and a cute tote bag to carry all of your finds home.