‘Hey, whatcha readin’ for?’– Bill Hicks
Do you ever wonder how we have arrived at a point in 21st century western society, where so many people seem to view knowledge as an embarrassment, as something that isn’t cool? Where we don’t seem to value literacy, education and creative critical thinking?
Of course many people do value these things, but to our perception far too often in an invisible, unspoken and almost dismissive kind of way.
How often have you been down the local pub and seen someone quietly reading in the corner only to hear an over opinionated barfly spouting off about how that person in the corner is just trying to look clever?
If reading in public is trying to ‘look’ clever then read on.
We all have different reasons for reading. For enjoyment, escapism, enlightenment, to broaden our understanding of other cultures, the world around us, our history and to gaze toward the future. The literacy of reading and writing is how we share our collective stories. How cool is that…
Dawn of the Unread, in collaboration with Robert Squirrell and John Mateur, propose we make reading a visible act, not simply reserved for the train, the library, a quiet corner at home or some elitist sanctuary.
Let’s read together in Nottingham’s Old Market Square 12 noon, 12th July, 2014 and show support to all of the bookshops, libraries and authors who have brought us joy over the years. On the first strike of the clock, pull out your book, sit down and read for five minutes.
And don’t be worrying about what book to bring along either. This isn’t a contest to see who’s the smartest. The only thing that will get you in trouble is if you sit down and read on the Council House steps because one of the Bods will move you on. And bring a brolly too. It’s bound to rat it down.
And if that great big sandpit is in the Square, head over to the Cloughie statue. Old Big ‘Ead will be teaming up with Dawn of the Unread as well. Unfortunately we haven’t figured a way to make an 8ft bronze statue crouch down but he’ll be playing his part…