Alexander McCall Smith to lead Reading Hour at National Museum of Scotland for Book Week Scotland


Celebrated authors Alexander McCall Smith and Lari Don will lead a read-in at the National Museum of Scotland this Friday to markThe Reading Hour, a time when thousands of people across Scotland are being encouraged to stop what they are doing and enjoy reading.


The Reading Hour, from 11am on 30 November 2012, will celebrate a love of books and the sheer pleasure of reading. The Hour is part of Book Week Scotland, the first national celebration of books and reading, initiated by the Scottish Government and delivered on behalf of Creative Scotland by Scottish Book Trust.


People can visit the National Museum of Scotland to take part in one of the events below or simply bring along a book, find a quiet corner and read. Anyone without a book can pick up a free copy of My Favourite Place or visit the Museum’s Library or Info Zone for inspiration.


My Favourite Place, produced by Scottish Book Trust, features over 30 stories and poems written by the public and well-known writers such as Michael Palin and Liz Lochhead.


Craig Fletcher, Learning Manager, National Museums Scotland, said:


‘We’re delighted to be taking part in this national celebration of reading. As well as the events we’re hoping that the galleries will be filled with people finding their own inspirational space to read!’


Marc Lambert, CEO, Scottish Book Trust, said:


The Reading Hour is an opportunity for people across Scotland to take part, collectively, in a national moment of reading, and to reflect on all the benefits reading brings to individuals and communities. Ultimately the message is a simple one: a well-read populace creates a happier, more productive, more articulate and better informed nation.’


Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, will attend Friday’s event. She said:

“Book Week Scotland is capturing the collective imagination of our creative nation, encouraging everyone in Scotland, of all ages and with all interests, to embrace reading’s unique capacity for personal enrichment, education, solace, pleasure and growth.

“The Scottish Government is firmly committed to increasing learning through the arts and culture, and to promoting the value of taking part in cultural activity. Through Book Week Scotland – and The Reading Hour – we’re engaging the whole of Scotland in these important aims.”


Events at the Museum


Meet Alexander McCall Smith

11:00-11:30am, Fri 30 November, Grand Gallery, Level 1

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors, having written his highly successful No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the Scotland Street novels. Join him at the start of reading hour for a unique chance to enjoy some public readings of his work.


Storytelling with Lari Don

11:15-11:45am, Fri 30 November, Living Lands Gallery, Level 1

Storytelling for pre-schoolers. Join children’s author Lari Don for a traditional storytelling ride on the museum’s Magic Carpet! Free, places limited, sign up on the day at the Information Desk, Entrance Hall, Level 1 (Meet at Lighthouse Lens, Grand Gallery).



11:50am -12:30pm, Fri 30 November, Animal World, Level 1

Join us for an animal inspired song and rhymes session on the Magic Carpet.

Free, places limited, sign up on the day at the Information Desk, Entrance Hall, Level 1, for ages 0-4 years. (Meet at Lighthouse Lens, Grand Gallery)