Book Festivals and Vinyl Decals

Pack up your exhibition graphics and head to one of these book festivals!

There’s nothing quite like a good book festival to widen your reading horizons and open your mind to new ideas. The UK’s literary history is a truly iconic one, so it’s unsurprising that the country is littered with excellent festivals and events that bring book lovers from all over the country together to take part in discussions, panel interviews and readings. Publishers small and large, from all over the country gather at these festivals to show off their new publications, tout their new authors and build hype for upcoming releases.

The best book festivals give readers the chance to expand their library, meet like-minded readers and talk to some of the people that have written their favourite books. Whilst major publishers tout their wares with vinyl decals, smaller book sellers are content to simply lay out trestle tables with a chalk board sign and gingham cloth as their only advertising ploy. Take a look at a few of the UK’s most notorious book festivals and see if any take your fancy…

Edinburgh International Book Festival

10th-26th August 2019

If you’ve not visited Scotland before then why not take a trip to the Edinburgh International Book Festival? Once a year a tented village is erected in the centre of the city and over 1000 authors including philosophers, comic creators, historians and economists gather to show off their new books. Political leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn have spoken at the even and his year’ event is likely to be no different.

Bloody Scotland

20th-22nd September 2019

If your tastes in reading are particularly gruesome then you may want to time your trip to Scotland a little later in the year so that you can pop in to Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival. Every sub-genre of crime will be in attendance, including fictional forensics, psychological thrillers and even a bit of cosy crime, for those who can’t stand the gory details.

Verve Poetry Festival

20th-23rd February 2020

The UK is well known for its poetry pedigree and there’s no better place to get a grip with it’s historic lineage (and its exciting upcoming stars) than by visiting Birmingham’s newest, most exciting literary festival. Taking place in the centre of the city and just a short walk away from New Street Station, Verve offers visitors the opportunity to meet award-winning poets, take on a challenge at an open mic and attend workshops to help them sharpen their craft.

Hay Festival

23rd May-2nd June 2020

Arguably one of the best known literary festivals in the world, the Hay Festival attracts thousands of readers young and old for a huge range of events that are intended to inspire and educate. On top of this fantastic literary lineup you’ll also find a wide range of award-winning food stalls and a plenty of opportunities to fill up a glass of real ale or lovely artisan drinks.…

Winter Reading Tips

The nights are drawing in – are you ready for Winter?

That’s right – Winter’s here and although that does mean that you’ll be spending less time outside, enjoying the lovely outside world, this is also a perfect time to get reading more.

With the nights closing in that much earlier, why not find yourself some cheap books and stay tucked inside home, instead of braving the nasty weather outside?

It can be difficult to develop a good reading habit during the summer months, when the weather is fine and the days are long – however, once the cold Winter weather comes blowing in, it becomes remarkably easier to simply forget about your social life and get lost in a book. Reading is an activity that truly demands your attention for long periods of time, making it a perfect hobby to pick up during the Winter.

In respect to the oncoming nights of darkness and inevitable solitude, we’re going to run through some of the things that you can do this Winter to improve your reading skill:

Stay wrapped up warm

The Winter is a tough time for all of us Brits, mostly because of the bitingly chilly weather that plagues the entire country. In order for you to be able to keep your personal reading skills up to scratch during this Winter you need stay wrapped up warm. Maintaining a consistent, healthy temperature is really important should you wish to remain focused whilst you read. For maximum warmth try a winning combination of thick fur pom pom hats and thick Mongolian lambswool scarf.

Keep your library stocked

The long, dark Winter stretches on for months on end – are you sure you’ll have enough books to read in the mean time? Knowing how dangerous the outside world is during this time, you’ll want to make sure that you have as many books around you as possible. This means ordering and buying as many as possible, before the temperature outside simply becomes to cold to survive in.

Don’t run out of food

If you want to live out this Winter, you’re going to need more than just books to survive. Most human beings need at least 1,200 calories to survive every day – when the weather is as bad as it is now, you might even need more. Running out of food mid-Winter can be a real pain and will inevitably force you outside of the house, not ideal when you consider how many roving groups of bandits are around from November to February.

Watch out for raiders

Large bands of bandits and raiders have been patrolling the Winter wastes for the last few years now, sometimes stretching out a quick trip to the shop from 15 minutes to an interminable 3 months (depending on the quality of shackles that the raiders use to restrain you). If you absolutely must leave the house then it’s vital to keep your wits about you. Try not to travel alone. If you have no other choice then be prepared run for your life. Raiders often have limited libraries, so capture at their hands might well put your reading skill back by a few years.

Stay calm at all times

Winter can be a really rough time for everyone – freezing winds, roaming raiders and fell beasts make this a treacherous time to learn to read, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to improve your reading skill! Just remember to wrap at warm, keep well stocked up in food and stay calm.…

How Further Reading Could Help You

If your reading skills are of a decent reading standard already then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be making the most of your skill.

Many people are capable readers who have simply forgotten the wealth of knowledge and experience that they can gain by just picking up a book.

For those that choose the path of literacy there are whole host of valuable outcomes that you could benefit from. We’ve laid out just a few of the things that you could benefit from should you choose to pick up a book and get reading:

Learn how to do something new

Books aren’t just there to entertain us, often they can teach us new skills, ideologies or even languages. For busy people, who work full-time or perhaps have children, it can be really difficult to find the time to learn and develop personally. Books, such as the For Dummies series, specialise in breaking down subjects or skills so that they can be easily learnt by beginners in their own time. Subjects include: Chess, Programming and Fishing.

Get inspired by History

If you feel like you need to learn more about History or simply want to gain a fresh perspective on life then you might want to try reading a historical novel. These books take real-life historical figures and lightly dramatise their lives – good examples are Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the first of a trilogy of books centred on Thomas Cromwell. Although lengthy, these kinds of book are great at educating and entertaining at the same time.

Get to grips with new formats

Advanced readers can test their skills by attempting to read a completely different format. These kinds of documents can often be a little harder to ferret out, but they can make for truly absorbing reading. Getting your hands on a measured building survey, for example, could be bewildering at first, but you’ll start to understand more about this niche the more you read them. You can also raid Gov.uk to find legal documents, such as laws and policies, that will really flex your skills.

Gain insight into another life

There might be no better way to experience another culture, or discover more about other peoples, than by reading an autobiography. People have been writing down their life stories for centuries now, making this kind of book particularly easy to pick up. Most of the time people choose to write their life story in a casual style, matching the way that they talk. This often leads to a personal reading experience where you’re allowed to truly get to know the subject.

Read within your knowledge base

Although many people choose to read books that broaden their knowledge base, there’s nothing wrong with reading within your interests. If you’re passionate about a certain subject then you can advance your career using this or simply deepen your knowledge for your own satisfaction. It might be that you have to spend more time and money reading deeply in to a subject, but it could lead you to becoming a true expert in your own field.…