Launching 2018’s stories with arks from ARCs

posted in: Playing by the book | 12

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.

12 Responses

  1. Anamaria

    It all sounds wonderful! I’m especially intrigued by the literary voyage around the world and the interview series–and of course I wish you great success with the cafe! Can’t wait to hear more. Happy new year!

  2. ReadItDaddy

    Oh my goodness, if there’s one idea that really could do with catching on and would save a LOT of libraries, it’s the cafe idea. Museums do this – and benefit a lot from it, so why not libraries?!

    Really really wishing you huge success with that, and as ever we’ll be tuning into your blog – so many brilliant and inspirational ideas and posts here!
    ReadItDaddy recently posted..Children’s books about depression – Some amazing books that deal sensitively with a tremendously difficult subject – A ReadItTorial.

  3. Myra from GatheringBooks

    What an amazing initiative – a book cafe, inside the library! That is my dream too – to someday come up with a reading space that will provide access to books from around the world – and there’s coffee and cake and luscious pastries too! And welcome to the Literary Voyage Around the World Reading Challenge! So so so looking forward to the books you’d be sharing this year. 🙂

  4. Sarah

    So many ideas. I love the thought of a children’s book map of the world. That would be great inspiration for my book club. Your post about book clubs was really useful when I set up a home education book club, two and half years ago now. Thank you for the inspiration.

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