Book Week Scotland may not be taking place till the end of next month but this morning the full programme for the fifth national celebration of books and reading was announced. (But not until everyone had been on the big red bus!!)

Scottish Book Trust will deliver a feast of activities and events across the country during Book Week Scotland 2016, all rooted in this year’s central theme of Discovery.

The Edinburgh Reporter spoke to Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP about the book she will be reading

There is to be a huge events programme which has something for you no matter what your age.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Book Week Scotland has gone from strength to strength since it was established in 2012, gaining the support of some of Scotland’s leading authors, including Christopher Brookmyre and Liz Lochhead. The importance of reading for pleasure cannot be underestimated, it can be a force for good in so many ways, helping people realise their potential.

“The Scottish Government is committed to encouraging reading in all our communities and, over the last four years, thousands of people have enjoyed events and free books during Book Week Scotland. It’s now a firm fixture in the calendar for thousands, and I encourage people the length and breadth of the country to embrace Book Week Scotland 2016”.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said : “It’s a fantastically positive endorsement of Scotland’s thriving literary scene that Book Week Scotland is now entering its fifth year, bigger, better and bolder than ever before. Authors, booksellers, libraries, readers and partners too numerous to mention have really taken this national festival to heart and made it what it is – a joyful, democratic and inclusive celebration of reading’s unique capacity for empowerment, enrichment, education, solace, pleasure and growth. The 2016 programme is our best yet, with world-class authors and more programmed events than ever before.”

Author events will abound with the UK’s best-loved writers and illustrators visiting libraries in every local authority, a programme funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), and appearances from such bookish heavyweights as Will Self, Lisa McInerneyJenni FaganJill MansellSimon ScarrowIsabel Greenberg, Clare MackintoshJodi Picoult, Alexander McCall Smith, whose event isprogrammed by East Lothian Libraries, and Liz Lochhead and Christopher Brookmyre, whose events are programmed by Cove and Kilgreggan Book Festival.

Well-known personalities such as Alan Cumming, programmed by Literary Dundee, Nick Crane and Tony Robinson will also make special appearances in locations across the country.

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported, along with a Readers in Residence programme in libraries, by £200,000 from Creative Scotland, Book Week Scotland 2016 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 21 – 27 November 2016.

Booklovers far and wide will also be encouraged to take on a Reading Dare, with the joint aim of helping others to begin or continue their reading journey, and of challenging themselves to try something new. Those who need some inspiration can visit www.bookweekscotland.com to try out the Reading Dare Randomiser, which might suggest anything from gifting a book to a stranger, to proposing to the person you love with a line from your favourite poem.

To ensure that Book Week Scotland is accessible to as wide a range of people as possible there will also be an outreach programme working with 20 local and national organisations.  These partnerships will be tailored to specific audiences, and will include Dyslexia Scotland, Scottish Prison Service, 5 local authority Community and Learning Development teams and organisations like Fare Scotland, Sunny Govan FM, the Maker’s Bistro, Open Book and many others.  Participants will take part in a range of activities including finding out what friends and family like to read and gifting a specially chosen book, running book/film discussion nights, sharing and celebrating adult learners’ reading achievements, running a “write to recovery workshop” to encourage people to use creative writing to improve mental wellbeing and a “Reading, Writing and Self-Management” event to celebrate people using reading and writing to manage their long term health conditions.

For those who have an interest in discovering new writing talent, 150,000 free copies of a new short story and poem collection written by the people of Scotland, Secrets and Confessions, will be handed out during the week via libraries, bookshops and other outlets.

School pupils across the country can also get into the Book Week Scotland spirit, with the three free picture books shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize gifted to every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag, and free bags of books, writing materials and counting games gifted to all Primary 2 and Primary 3 pupils. The bags, produced in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of Read, Write, Count, provide materials for parents and children to use to have fun learning at home.

Additionally, children across the country can tune in to watch award-winning children’s author and Ruby Redfort creator Lauren Child in a special free Authors Live webcast on 24 November at 11.00am. Several secondary schools will also enjoy a personal visit from hip hop artist Dave Hook of Stanley Odd fame, who will tour schools around the country during the week.

The week will conclude with the unveiling of the nation’s 10 favourite Scottish book to screen adaptations – will cult movie Trainspotting triumph, or will Robbie Coltrane’s Gruffalo snap up the top spot? Voting is open now at www.bookweekscotland.com – film, TV and book fans can choose their number one page to screen adaptation from an eclectic shortlist of 40.