Thursday 4 September 2014

Books About Town - Hunting for Book Benches!

Me & Kirsty with Paddington Bear!

Every summer my friend Kirsty (from The Overflowing Library) comes to stay with me for a few days so we can go on a random adventure, sometimes book related and sometimes not, but whatever we end up doing we always have fun. Anyway, as soon as we heard about the National Literary Trust's Books About Town campaign we knew exactly what we'd be getting up to this summer!

Books About Town is a series of 50 different book inspired benches that have been scattered throughout London on four different trails. The benches will remain in London until the 15th of September so if you haven't managed to see them all yet you still have a little time but you need to be quick if you don't want to miss them. Each of the benches have been designed and painted by an incredible artist and there is an incredibly variety of different designs. After the event the benches will all be auctioned off to the public to raise money for the National Literary Trust. It's such a great cause but I have a feeling the benches will all be way out of my price range!

One of my favourite things about the benches is how they are designed to look like an open book, they are all the same shape but you'll be amazed at how different they all look because of the artist's different designs. Have a look at these pics of the Jungle Book bench to see what I mean about the shape of the benches:

Jungle Book bench - Side View
Jungle Book bench - Front
Jungle Book bench - Back

It took us three trips but Kirsty and I did manage to track down all fifty benches. Kirsty made a fab little video slideshow below that shows all of the benches but I thought I'd share a few of my favourite benches with you here too.

I've been a fan of the Discworld series since I was about 18 so that was probably one of the benches I was most excited to see. It features one of my favourite characters, The Librarian, which I think is pretty appropriate!

Discworld bench featuring The Librarian

Most people already know that I adore dragons so of course I loved this How to Train Your Dragon bench!

How to Train Your Dragon

This bench for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was absolutely stunning, it was so incredibly detailed and the painting of Aslan on the back was fantastic!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe front
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe back

Finally, I have to include this picture because I think it is the only one we have with both of us in the photo (I had to stitch 2 pictures together for the Paddington Bear bench above). This is based on Samuel Pepy's Diary and depicts the Great Fire of London in 1666. I actually really love the colouring of this bench and if you look closely in the background you can just about spot the Shard in the distance between us.

Samuel Pepy's Diary

You can see all of the other benches in Kirsty's video below:

Did you manage to find any of the book benches over the summer? Which one is your favourite?


  1. I loved Kirsty's video but I also really love this post and seeing some of the benches in more detail. You guys looked like you had so much fun!

    1. Thanks Michelle, I'm glad you like it :-) I loved going hunting for them, these trails are such a great way of exploring different parts of London that you might not usually visit. There's going to be a Shaun the Sheep one next year that's in London and Bristol so I definitely want to do at least some of that :-)

  2. This sounds like a great idea - and if I'd known about this I might have made a few trips to London this summer. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe bench looks stunning!

    1. I don't think these trails were very well advertised which is a shame. It would have been nice if you could have come up to see them, there really were some stunning benches :-)



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