Reading Hour Adventures

colourful books
Category: Reading

On Friday 30 November, some of us here at LBi north of the border stopped at 11am to mark the Reading Hour -- a national time-out designed to get us all to pick up a book and journey to the depths of whatever magical land we please for 60 minutes. And when you think about it, it's really quite amazing where that hour can take us…

The world an imagination can create when in the depths of a good story is the most unique thing any of us can ever experience. That’s why movies tend to be disappointing to those who have read the book first. Having to watch somebody else's (intrinsically flawed or inferior) version of our personal visions is, more often than not, an entirely unsatisfying experience.

On this note, it was perhaps a mistake to pick up my bruised and battered copy of J.R.R. Tolkein's 'The Hobbit' on Friday for yet another re-read -- just in case I'd missed something during my first 24 journeys to the Lonely Mountain -- ahead of Peter Jackson's long-awaited interpretation of everyone's childhood favourite. But I know it's my last chance to see that world untouched, just the way it has been since the day my nine-year-old self stuck a dorky book plaque on the inside cover, declaring myself as the official owner from 1993 until the End of Time.

By the start of 2013 -- as much as I'm looking forward to the film -- I can't help but feel that the faces, forests, friends and foes of the past twenty-ish years will be blown to smithereens. I needed to say goodbye.

Elsewhere in the office, hardbacks, paperbacks, websites and Kindles could be seen sparking imaginations, emotions and an inexplicable hunger for cake. Cormac McCarthy's breathtaking novel, 'The Road', was described by one LBier as "a beautifully bleak novel that explores the darkest depths of humanity", whilst another started their own psychological journey with James Runcie's 'East Fortune'. 

The Scottish Book Trust's special collection of Scottish writing, 'My Favourite Place', was a popular choice with which to celebrate our nation's talent, whilst some of us switched off to mark St Andrew's Day with other national favourites, such as 'Seven Decades' by the first Glasgow Poet Laureate, Edwin Morgan.

It just goes to show that whatever your background and whatever your talent, there's nothing like a good book. Books allow us to travel instantly into unchartered territories, fabricate familiar faces and to test the boundaries of our own imaginations, which can truly become limitless when pushed far enough. There is nothing else that quite kindles the creative fires so quickly, nor so considerably.

So whatever and wherever you read, we hope you enjoyed Reading Hour -- and a very special thank you to the Scottish Book Trust for the fantastic posters, bookmarks and copies of 'My Favourite Place'. Until next year…keep reading!

Lauren Pomphrey

Lauren works at Edinburgh-based company LBi, which took part in The Reading Hour on 30 November