On the road for Book Week Scotland: The Adventures of Bookman

Category: Reading

As I am sure you can understand, I, Bookman, was very busy during Book Week Scotland this year. As recently appointed Reader in Residence for North Ayrshire Libraries, Bookman had a lot of work to do spreading the word about the powers of reading, promoting the local library services and helping everyone in the community celebrate Book Week Scotland.

Here is a diary of what happened as I travelled around deepest, darkest Ayrshire...

Wednesday 26 November

My first official visit was to Saltcoats Library to witness the launch of their wonderful new Book Week Scotland artwork, ‘To Anchor: Imperative' by artist Charlotte Duffy. I arrived as usual on the Bookmobile - my shiny red motorcycle - and was surprised that the sight of a fully costumed superhero riding a motorbike through the streets of Saltcoats didn’t seem to cause much of a stir. Apart from a wave from some school children and a disbelieving look from a motorist, most passers-by seemed unimpressed.

Bookman sets off fuelled by his love of books
Thursday 27 November

The day began by travelling to Irvine for breakfast club at Loudon Montgomerie Primary School. The children enjoyed breakfast and listened to me tell the story of Jack, The Very Lazy Ladybird in the school library. One of Bookman's superpowers is storytelling.

Cunninghame House - headquarters of North Ayrshire Council - was the next stop for Bookman. Following the food trolley as it did its rounds, I gave out free copies of Scotland’s Stories of Home to the hungry office workers, spread the word about Book Week Scotland, and encouraged them to visit their local library.

From there I whizzed off to the neighbouring shopping centre to distribute more copies of the book, pose for selfies and photos with my adoring fans, and remind everyone to get down to their library.

Next to receive a visit was Eglinton Country Park, where Bookman was welcomed to the delightful café with hot coffee and delicious cake (very delicious) - even superheroes need pitstops. Once refreshed, I continued my book gifting mission and had even more photographs taken with my fans. Bookman was becoming a hit!

Having disappeared for lunch, I was soon spotted at the Harbourside Arts Centre, where I chatted with visitors and managed to make two small children cry. Bookman is sorry.


Bookman delivers books to the heart of North Ayrshire
Friday 29 November

Friday began with breakfast club at Winton Primary School where Bookman regaled the children with the story of Achilles, a very stubborn and hungry crocodile.

From the school I zoomed off to Ardrossan and met local shoppers. Ardrossan Library kindly refuelled me with a hot coffee before I whizzed off to the ferry terminal and gifted the passengers a Book Week Scotland treat of free copies of Scotland’s Stories of Home to read on the ferry.

As I arrived at the terminal a lovely couple who ran a local B&B immediately asked if they could take a photo with me to post on their Facebook site. They left promising to leave their free book in the lounge of their B&B for their customers to read - another successful mission!

The afternoon was spent speeding around Stevenston on my trusty steed distributing more books to members of the public, telling all about Book Week Scotland, and the wonderful range of services available to them at their local library.

Thank you Book Week Scotland, from me, Bookman, and from the people of North Ayrshire.


You can follow the further adventures of Bookman on Twitter.

Bookman (Gerard Durkin)

'Bookman', also known as Gerry Durkin, is the Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence for North Ayrshire Libraries.

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