I Used to be a Reader….

Tuesday 23rd April is World Book Night.  A time to celebrate books, authors, publishers and all things book related.  It’s also a time to encourage people to read.

Since starting You and a Book I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has said ‘oh, I used to read a lot’.  When asked why they don’t read now the answer is invariably that they don’t have time.  I understand that as it’s something I’ve been feeling myself recently but I know that I do have time.  Instead of watching tv, rather than surfing the internet and checking social media I could be delving into a book.  What’s more I know how much better I feel when I’ve been reading.

What make reading a better way of relaxing than other past times for me?  I’d say that it’s because when reading I lose myself in that world.  My mind isn’t free to process a half a dozen other ideas, worries or jobs not completed.  I realised that this is my natural mindfulness practice.  It’s not so effective if I switch from fiction though.  Non-fiction tends to trigger all sorts of new ideas and I have to make sure that I’ve got a notebook to hand to capture them all.

With the idea of encouraging ex-readers back into what was once a favourite past time I am now launching the You and a Book Reading Clubs with the idea that they will make the time to read at least once a month.

The format for the Reading Club will be that you have an hour to read your choice of book, magazine, comic while you enjoy the refreshments provided by the venue before having an hour to mingle with the other club members to talk about books, share recommendations and make new friends…..or not!  As this will be a group of readers they will completely understand if you’ve reached that point in the book where you just can’t put it down.  Equally I want this to be a place where those who are nervous about meeting new people feel they can come without any pressure to join in the conversation until they are ready.

If you ‘used to be a reader’ why not take the habit up again?  We are launching at the following venues to celebrate World Book Night:

Limes Farm, Farthinghoe – Tuesday 23rd April 9:30-11:30am

The Coffee Boutique, Milton Keynes – Friday 26th April 7:30-9:30pm

Both events have limited availability so we suggest that you book your place in advance to be sure of a seat.  Grab a book by your favourite author and I’ll see you there!

You can hear me talk about reading clubs and my favourite business book on the Bekka Prideaux radio show and I’ll be talking to Ali Jones on BBC Radio Oxford on Easter Monday at about 11:30am.

The Vision Board

I’ve been spending time getting clearer about my aims for You and a Book and I’ll be sharing information with everyone as I go.  I’ve created a vision board to help explain it.

Vision Board

This is the vision board that sits in front of my desk. It keeps my idea front and foremost in my mind. You may not be able to see all the pictures clearly here but they include a wide range of reading environments: conservatories, libraries, cosy chairs in front of open fires, trendy cafes and book shops. All great environments to read in.


One of my favourite pictures is one with a quote

Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?

David Baldacci.

Well now doesn’t that just say it all?!

If you like to do just that then keep an eye on the Events page to see where you can do just that in one of the You and a Book pop-up reading rooms.

Thanks Revolucion de Cuba


Revolucion de Cuba in Milton Keynes played host to the first pop-up reading room for You and a Book.  What a great venue and the staff knew exactly what we wanted: no music, heaters on, quiet service, good coffee and sweet treats.

This was the view into our reading space on the day, we even had bright sunshine.

“Being able to sit, un-interupted, with no distractions except coffee, brownies and churros has been bliss!”
“Great to be able to read quietly but in the company of others.”
“There is something very special about having some designated, guilt free reading time!”

Judging by this feedback the event was a success.  Watch this space for news on where and when the next reading room will pop-up.



First Pop-up Reading Room

First Pop-up Reading Room comes to Milton Keynes

Well things are certainly starting to happen here with the opening of  the first You and a Book pop-up reading room in January 2018.

pop-up reading roomThe idea came about when I kept getting settled down to read in cafes only to find that once I’d bought my coffee and cake, the noise level rose to such a degree that I wasn’t able to focus on my book. After passing many businesses that were closed at these times I started to wonder if they would consider opening out of their normal hours and creating a space for readers to enjoy their books in peace.

Now is the time for me to test that idea by seeing if readers will be interested in such spaces if the businesses were willing to provide them.

As such the lovely people at Revolucion de Cuba, Milton Keynes, will be opening their doors at 10am on Friday 12th January. The conservatory will be open for two hours solely for readers. If you’d like to come along and enjoy the peace tickets are available here.

The ticket price of £5 includes entry, hot drinks, chocolate brownies and churros. What a bargain!

There will also be a little extra from the venue in the form of an Amigo card which entitle you to special offers on week days.

If the idea takes off I’m hoping to organise these events on a more regular basis and in different locations. I’d love it if you can join us and please share with any friends and family you think would like to come!

If you have any questions or would like to know more then please contact the BookWorm by email, BookWorm@you-and-a-book.com