Springingtiger's Blog

Aye Write

I think I may have mentioned how much I love books. The last time I mentioned it was on World Book Day. Today I was at an event in ‘Aye Write’, Glasgow’s book festival and it reminded me that a book is not just a book.

While I attended a discussion on Scotland and the Easter Rising , my wife attended a workshop on using points of view in writing. When readers and writers interact with each other directly not through, but facilitated by a book it expands the possibilities of communication that writing provides. It is not an entirely new thing authors have for many years provided live readings to their audiences. However book festivals are a more recent phenomenon.

The first book festival I attended in Scotland was ‘Writing Together’ in 1990 when Glasgow was the European City of Culture it was an opportunity to meet writers like Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo and Sue Townsend and gain deeper insights into their work and motivation. These festivals are a wonderful opportunity for readers to deepen and widen their experience and for writers to further hone their craft with the help of experienced authors.

For a long time works of literature have found their way into the theatres then later into cinemas and onto television. As long as these provide a door into reading they are welcome and many young people have had their reading and in turn their own first forays into writing kick started by films like the Harry Potter series. However it would be tragic if we were to allow them to become a substitute for reading and allow literacy once again to become the preserve of a small elite. The ability to read allies a person almost unlimited access to the accumulated knowledge of humanity. A love of reading opens the collected creative imagination of humanity both past and future.


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