Warmest congratulations to Melbourne’s libraries, bookshops and readers for making winter itself a reason for celebrating the National Year of Reading. With the tag line ‘reading enlightens us’, the Light in Winter arts program brought the delights and benefits of books and reading right into the city centre.
Federation Square was decorated with thousands of illuminated, reclaimed books in Literature vs Traffic, the work of Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus. Reading in Bed, described as a ‘cozy mass read-in’, saw hundreds of people with doonas, blankets and books supporting Salvation Army fund-raising on a chilly June evening in the square. And the Weekend Read, on Saturday afternoons, was devoted to Melbourne’s nineteenth-century crime thriller, Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, read out loud in cafés, bars, bookshops and libraries in the city.
As one of a handful of the world’s UNESCO-awarded Cities of Literature, Melbourne takes books and reading seriously – and joyfully. Their imaginative projects include Literature Lane, the excellent Wheeler Centre (books, writing, ideas) and several innovative public libraries.