Reader Event: What Are You Reading?

Tomorrow (Saturday March 15th) heralds the grand re-opening of the Bluecoat arts centre in Liverpool. After a £12.5 million refurbishment project over the last three years, the time has come for the Bluecoat to swing open its doors to the public once more. To celebrate this they have put together a free showcase weekend of music, dance, visual art, live art and literature for this Saturday and Sunday.

As part of the event The Reader Organisation is running a workshop that aims to help you cope with some of life’s difficulties. Members of The Reader team will offer advice and possible solutions to your problems or contemporary issues – The Reader Clinic will turn to the pages of novels and poetry in order to find some answers:

“My boss tells me he loves me but there’s another, and she’s so beautiful. I can’t work out what I should do, my heart tells me one thing and my head another …” What book could possibly help with such a problem? Perhaps Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre?

“I have been getting up to a bit of mischief recently and scribbling all my notes in my diary. I think that my flatmate may be reading my entries!” Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal is just what’s needed for this situation.

How about this predicament: “I am a tall, gangly lad and I keep tripping over my own arms and legs. None of the other kids will let me play football. What can I do?” Solutions to this problem can be found in Liverpool Reads’ book for 2008, Keeper by Mal Peet.

From Shakespeare’s Richard III, we may be able to identify certain similarities with our own PM Gordon Brown and that of Richard, the future king: “Now is the winter of our discontent…”

“With my truest friends, it doesn’t matter how long it is since we’ve spoken, we’re still as close as ever but I struggle to express how much they mean to me.” Take a look at Elizabeth Jennings’ poem ‘Friendship’.

How can books help?

Bring your concerns, questions or dilemmas to the Garden Room at the Bluecoat tomorrow, 1.30 – 2.30 (just turn up at the venue, no ticket required) and meet the editors of The Reader magazine and members of The Reader Organisation as they host this special event to offer advice with the help of some great books. You can also hear more about The Reader Organisation’s projects, including the nationally acclaimed ‘Get Into Reading’ project and learn about the background of Blake Morrison’s feature article in The Guardian.

Find out how to get to the Bluecoat Art Centre here.

Posted by Jen Tomkins

1 thought on “Reader Event: What Are You Reading?”

  1. Terrific idea. I’m surprised there aren’t any “Doctors of Literature” who go about prescribing novels to their patients. “Take Jane Eyre, and call me in the morning.” It would be a nifty psychiatriac approach …

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