When I was a little girl, it’s fair to say that I didn’t exactly fit in. I was rubbish at sports, useless at computer games and I wasn’t really the outdoorsy, go out and ride on your bicycle kind of girl. The only thing that I ever really wanted to do was just sit down and read. In front of the fire with a cat on my lap was always the best case scenario, but you know what, it didn’t really matter where I read, as long as I had a book in my hand I was happy.
It took me until adulthood to realise that being bookish was my kind of my “thing”. Perhaps I even rebelled a little against the label, because let’s face it, reading isn’t the most sociable of hobbies…
Except sometimes it is! Once a year, when the autumn leaves start to fall, being a book geek like me is actually an extremely sociable thing to be – thanks to Dundee Literary Festival.
Now in its 10th year, the festival is THE place to be in October if you love reading. With a schedule packed full of book events for every taste right in the centre of Dundee, the event is every literature lover’s dream.
A few weeks back I attended the five day festival, fitting in as many events as I possibly could. You could say that the range of events I attended was pretty eclectic!- From A Rock & Roll Roald Dahl Party with Scots writer Matthew Fitt and Outer Edges with non fiction writers Amy Liptrot and Malachy Tallack to Haunting Afterlives – an event examining the work of Shirley Jackson and Josephine Tey – the subject matters were pretty diverse but I got something out of them all.
Attending debut author events with the wonderful Sandra Ireland, Shelley Day and Martin Cathcart Froden was a real highlight, especially to an aspiring novelist like me. As was seeing more established authors such as James Kelman, the only Scottish author to ever win The Booker Prize, read with such passion.
But for me, the best thing about Dundee Literary Festival is the sense of community that it has. It’s a fabulously warm and engaging event, full of friendly faces who all share the same love and passion for reading.
So thank you Dundee Literary Festival! Thank you for making me feel part of the best bookish gang in Scotland! I’m already counting down the days until next year!
Dundee Literary Festival is run by Literary Dundee as part of Dundee University. For more information, visit their website: http://www.literarydundee.co.uk/
Photographs by Bob McDevitt