Thursday, 30 October 2014

5 Literary things to do in london this Autumn

Sometimes sitting at home reading a book just isn't enough, sometimes you want to do bookish things with bookish people. Here are 5 ways to be sociable and literary in london this Autumn:

1. Go on a literary Pub Crawl

What could be better than combining booze and books? I can't think of many activities.  The London Literary Pub Crawl not only takes you on a journey of discovery around some of london's most famous literary pubs, it also introduces you to the authors associated with the pubs themselves.  Fancy meeting Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas or Charles Dickens? By going on the London Literary Pub Crawl, you can. Or at the very least, you can meet very convincing actors purporting to be them, which is practically the same thing. And you can get drunk at the same time, which is always a bonus.

2. Go Book Crossing

Have an expensive book habit that you are struggling to fund? Well, why not grab one of your old ones and swap it for another for free? Book crossing basically involves doing just that. You turn up to a bookcrossing event, which take place all over London [and other cities], place your book or books on the table and then you are allowed to delve into a wonderful pile of used tomes that have been left there by other bookcrossers. Once everyone has satisfied their lust for new reading material, there usually is the opportunity for people to sit around and discuss the books they've brought along, or anything else that may be of interest to the group. Unlike bookclubs, bookcrossing events will usually have different people each time so if you didn't like one event, don't be put off going to another.

3. Go to a Book Slam Event

Ever been to a literary nightclub? No? Well, such a thing does exist. Book Slam is London's first Literary nightclub, which manages to combine live readings from new writers as well as more established ones, live music and even a DJ! Music and books make great bedfellows and it's a lot more grown up than your average local disco, and you actually get to sit down for once! You need to get on the mailing list to take part, but its well worth doing if you want to have a different night out to your usual friday night at 'spoons.

4. Meet an author

 I personally think that meeting authors is a great way to enhance your reading experience.  I think it's really interesting to hear writers give insights into their own work, and since writers are in the business of understanding humanity there will usually be at least one author you can relate to at a literary festival or event. Authors often make good public speakers [although this isn't always the case] and should hopefully be pretty entertaining. I think its fantastic to hear a writer reading aloud their own work, as they will know exactly how it was meant to be read. One of the best places in London to see authors in the flesh is London's Waterstones Piccadily, as they host 'thousands' of literary events every year. Best of all the events are often free.      

I love this women's writing.

5. Take Part in a Literary Salon

Bored with the shallow conversation of your friends? Get your brain engaged with in depth literary discussions at London's Literary Salon, but be warned its not for literary lightweights, so if your taste in books is more Proust than Clarkson you'll be right at home. Get ready to dissect some literary masterpieces among other great thinkers, and to answer some heavy duty literary questions.    

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