Delighted to celerbrate this milestone. I’m rather hopeful that there will be more children reading this time, rather than simply using it as an excuse to just dress up. I was shocked to see that around 148,000 children leave primary education without being able to read well, according to a 2021 report by the National Literacy Trust! That is appalling. Let’s get their heads out of their tablets, switch off the TV and get reading books – it won’t give them eye strain either. Having got that rant of my chest, I’m equally appalled that there are adult households I know where finding a book of any description is rare.
A good selection of books available again this year for a £1 from local booksellers and even better that there are braille versions RNIB), large print (Guide Dogs) and audio versions (RNIB and Calibre Audio).
World Book Day sponsored again by National Book Tokens.
Good to see that the world famous Hay Festival is back with face-to-face events and interviews from 26 May to 5 June. The pandemic forced them on line last year, but this did mean that those of us who can’t get to visit the festival, at least had the opportunity to enjoy the sessions. Subscribing to the Hay Player makes it possible to re-visit hundreds of events – well worth the £15.00 annual fee. More on Hay over the next few weeks.
Small publishers have found the last 18 months or so particularly gruelling, none more so than Holland Park Press run by the wonderful Bernadette & Arnold Jansen op de Haar. The company publishes literary fiction and poetry, with special emphasis on bringing the work of Dutch authors to the English language market.
Earlier this year they launched a campaign to ‘Adopt a Book & Rescue a Small Publisher’ with some success, but not sufficient to maintain their business.
Sadly the desire to keep publishing has placed a heavy toll on them and they’ve now had to to move out of their premises BUT they still plan to keep HPP going. They have a great selection of books in English & Dutch and some in ebook format, so the site is well worth purusing. There’s also a blog, magazine articles and, if you live in the Stroud area, you’ll find them at the Shambles market on 12 & 13 November (more dates on their website).
It would be a great loss to see HPP go, so while Bernadette & Arnold are still fighting we can all help them.