What stories are you going to launch this year?
Some of you will be doing amazing work writing or illustrating stories but my bookish stories for 2018 are instead about the adventures I’m planning:
As with last year, I know a huge amount of my time will be taken up volunteering with my local (professionally staffed) public library. This year is going to see a major development and in many ways an unimaginably brilliant dream come true; I’m part of a team which is going to be opening a story-themed play-café inside our local library. Our café, Little Green Bookworm will not only play a role in the long-term financial security of the library, but will also to create a new community space with creativity and stories at the heart of it. Work preparing for the café’s installation is due to start later this month and as you can imagine I’m very excited!
Here on the blog I’ll be taking part in a Literary Voyage Around the World, encouraged and supported by Gathering Books. In parallel with the reading challenge, I’m going to complete work I started last year on a children’s literature version of this literary map. I’ve had a lot of help from various IBBY chapters around the world, as well as friends spread across the globe and it is gradually coming together so watch this space!
Another linked project for the blog is a planned series of interviews with translators of children’s literature. I want to highlight the work they do and with their help discover new books to read. If you’re a translator of children’s literature and would like to be involved, do get in touch 🙂
As far as possible I’m going to visit all the independent bookshops (new and second-hand) within 100km (on public transport) of me, interviewing the booksellers and highlighting their children’s stock. If you’re in the West Midlands and would like to join me on a bookshop jaunt let me know as I’d love your company.
Last year I visited a lot of “ghost libraries” i.e. buildings which formerly housed libraries. This year I want to do more of this, and am planning another set of trips here in the Midlands but would welcome recommendations of other areas to explore.
As to the boats setting sail with which I opened this post, they are arks from ARCs 🙂 ; another plan for the year is to find creative ways to re-use ARCs (Advance Reader Copies; non-final copies produced for advance reviews). Like other book reviewers I’m hugely grateful to receive advanced copies of forthcoming books, but I have a growing stack of said arcs and I’m determined to find fun ways to give them a new lease of life. I keep hold of my favourites of course, but often I end up with a finished copy of the book, and limited bookshelf space means I can’t keep everything. My preference is always to find readers (typically through donating books to my daughters’ friends or a local school librarian), but when that doesn’t work, I’m going to use my discarded ARCs this year as an opportunity to get creative. Let me know what you do with your ARCs!
One thing that is definitely on the to-do list this year is to make an outfit out an ARC. I made this one out of wallpaper just before the turn of the year. Consider me your book fairy god-mother; I wish all your happy stories for 2018 come true.