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City Reads 2017 introduce book swap boxes

City Reads returns this year between 2 Mar and 14 May to encourage small scale community interactivity and a shared love of written word.

Their scheme is the longest running Big Read in the UK, spreading passion for books to the widest audience possible in the South East. They run a reading initiative alongside special events, workshops and performances.

This year they have a new way of sharing books. Local crime writer William Shaw has a homemade box outside his house in which there are books he encourages people to take and share. Inspired by his DIY spirit, City Reads have teamed up with Brighton Festival and enlisted sponsors and funding. This additional help with support them in creating several of these Book Swap Boxes to enable readers across the city free access to books. This is a more fulfilling and sustainable method than previous years in which they have been left on benches and in cafés.

This year’s City Reads choice is The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal. Several copies will be placed in each box. Additionally books by bestselling crime authors William Shaw and Elly Griffiths will be found across the city. Each will have their own box sponsored by their publisher Quercus. Shaw’s will be found in Redwood Café and Griffiths in Pavilion Gardens Café.

The popular event won Best Community Event at the Argus Community Stars Awards.

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