Saturday, 18 December 2010
Lowdham year ends with A Little, Aloud
Given it was a Friday night just before Christmas and something like -6, we were pleased to have about 120 people at Lowdham Book Festival's last event of the year. Jane Davies and Angela Macmillan from The Reader Organisation (www.thereader.org.ouk) were down from Liverpool to talk about the work they do, joined by Joanna Trollope as guest reader. Jane and Angela described their work in reading aloud with groups of prisoners, those suffering from dementia, the homeless. What was encouraging is that though Joanna was the guest reader (she read a long Saki short story, wonderfully) the questions were all to Jane and Angela about their work rather than to Joanna whose books are so well known. I'm sure Joanna would be pleased with that. The audience was visibly moved by many of the stories of individual success in opening up people's lives through reading. This was the first time we'd done an event where the ticket price (£15) brought people a book as well as the usual glass of wine (good wine too, thanks to a special deal with Weavers). People seemed really pleased with the book, A Little, Aloud (Chatto) and many people were asking when we would start a local initiative based on The Reader Organisation's ideas. It was a good way to end the year.