Map of nation's reading habits to be created during Scotland's annual celebration of books

A national reading map of Scotland is to be created as part of the tenth annual celebration of the written word and literature.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 10:10 am
Val McDermid will be taking part in the Book Week Scotland festival this month.

People across Scotland are being asked to share what they are currently reading on a virtual map to help create a picture of the most popular books in different parts of the country.

The Scottish Book Trust will be releasing details of the nation’s favourite reads at the end of its week-long festival, which will feature in-person and online events with some of the country’s best-known writers and performers.

Author Andrew O'Hagan, actor Alan Cumming, crime writer Denise Mina, former Scots Makar Jackie Kay, spoken word performer Chris McQueer, Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins and poet Lennie Pennie will all be part of the Book Week Scotland programme, which gets underway today.

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Denise Mina is among the authors taking part in the 10th annual Book Week Scotland festival this month. Picture: Alasdair Watson

The Reading Map of Scotland is one of several initiatives aimed at encouraging people across the country to get involved in the annual celebration, including the distribution of around 50,000 copies of a free book of stories by 22 different writers and a social media campaign to rally support for the nation’s libraries.

Among the festival highlights are the launch of a new documentary by author Denise Mina on the contribution women writers from the Garnethill area of Glasgow have made to the city, the unveiling of a new poetry trail in Ullapool, an insight into wild swimming,

Damien Barr will be hosting a literary salon featuring an interview with Cumming, and performances of poetry from Pennie and Courtney Stoddart.

Bestselling authors Val McDermid and Marjorie Liu and comic writers Ram V, Kieron Gillen and Hari Conner will all be taking part in the virtual launch of a downloadable role-playing game by visual artist Arian Barber.

James Robertson, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Marion Todd and Donna Ashworth are among the other writers taking part in the events programme.

Philippa Cochrane, head of reading communities at the Scottish Book Trust, said: “It’s so exciting to be celebrating the 10th Book Week Scotland.

"Over the last decade it’s grown to become a joyful, inclusive week in Scotland’s book calendar. Once again, it is delivered with fantastic partners – libraries, community organisations, charities, schools and many more – across the country and offers a riotous collection of events and activities.

"We hope everyone in Scotland feels welcomed to the party and celebrates by reading, gifting, discussing and celebrating the books they love.”

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of the Scottish Library & Information Council, said: “Libraries will be hosting events from Shetland to the Borders, connecting communities and ensuring everyone across the country can meet likeminded individuals, and enjoy all that the week has to offer.”

Alan Bett, head of literature and publishing at Creative Scotland, the main funder of the festival, said:

“For a decade now, Book Week Scotland has provided the perfect opportunity for readers across the nation to come together in community groups, bookshops, libraries and at home to share and explore a love of reading.

"With an exciting and diverse line-up of emergent and established names and forms of writing, from live poetry to comics, the centenary year programme is a true celebration of literature.”