Oxford Bids to be World Book Capital

23 April 2012, 05:00 | Updated: 26 April 2012, 15:47

As a million books are being given away for free today for World Book Night, Oxford's putting in a bid to become World Book Capital in 2014.

The nomination to be World Book Capital has never been held by an English speaking city.

Kathelene Weiss, who's behind the bid, told Heart what would happen if Oxford did win:

"The programme for the year will support literary initiatives with schools and families to promote a love of reading.

"Over the course of 2014/15, a full programme of events will take place aimed at encouraging both residents and tourists to discover the pleasures of opening up a book and reading in any form."

They expect to find out if the bids been successful in the summer.

It's also World Book Night, with lots of events going on around the city:

1pm: At the Oxford Central Library Tim Griggs will be reading from his new novel Distant Thunder as part of Oxfordshire Libraries' involvement in World Book Night. Tim will also be available to talk about the art of getting published. Free entrance, no tickets.

1pm: Waterstones on Broad Street will be welcoming actors from the forthcoming Oxford Shakespeare Festival (20 May - 3 June 2012). The casts of Twelfth Night, Love's Labour's Lost, Titus Andronicus and Unsex Me Here will be performing scenes from their productions and reading from the Sonnets. Free entrance, no tickets.

1.30pm: Jacqui Ibbotson, Programme Manager for Oxford Inspires, will be giving out copies of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and some books for the teenage wards at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

2pm: Kim Pickin, Joint Director of The Story Museum, will be giving away copies of The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, to celebrate Edward Lear's forthcoming 200th birthday at The Story Museum building, Pembroke Street entrance.

3:30pm: Oxford University Press will be around Carfax to give out a 100 books, 20 copies of five teenage and adult reads. The books are:

  • Children and Teen: Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis and Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson
  • Adult: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, The Alice Behind Wonderland by Simon   Winchester and The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

4.45pm: Angus Philips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University will be giving away copies of Touching the Void by Joe Simpson to commuters atOxford Train Station.

5pm: Staff from the Bodleian Library will be giving away books in the Bodleian Quad.

5pm: Local Writers' Group Talk at Oxford Central Library. The Turl Street Writers are a local writers' group who regularly publish volumes of short stories such as The Turl Street Tales all with an Oxford or Turl Street story. The group has also written books like Midwinter Tales to raise funds for the Maggie's Centres for cancer sufferers at the Oxford Churchill Hospital. This is a free event open to all.

5:45pm: Blackwell's Bookshop have Creation Theatre in the shop (performing The Odyssey) and all attendees to the performance on 23 April will get a special gift in honour of World Book Night.

Other Events around Oxfordshire: Libraries in Abingdon, Chipping Norton and Didcot are staying open late with author readings for World Book Night. For more information email: abingdon.library@oxfordshire.gov.uk; chippingnorton.library@oxfordshire.gov.uk; didcot.library@oxfordshire.gov.uk