Literary-Themed Benches In London Celebrate A Summer Of Reading

Literary-Themed Benches In London Celebrate A Summer Of Reading

Public art installations throughout city celebrate a renewed interest in reading among youth.

Kiran Umapathy
  • 10 july 2014

Britain’s National Literacy Trust (NLT) and public art organization Wild In Art have teamed up to celebrate reading and London’s rich literary heritage by installing eye-catching bench sculptures throughout the city.

The project, known as Books About Town is a collection of 50 benches shaped like open books and designed by local artists and illustrators to honor iconic stories and authors, mainly associated with London. The bench art reprsents classics like Shakespeare, Jules Verne and Jane Austen, as well as George Orwell and Dr. Seuss. Each bench has a unique profile page equipped with a Google Map of its location and an overview of the story. Artist profiles on the site link directly to the bench the artist designed.


The benches were placed along four newly-devised literary trails, complete with maps and quizzes to create a scavenger hunt experience that locals and tourists can enjoy. The benches have also provided meetup locations for events throughout the summer including book giveaways, photo booths and flashmobs. Maps, quizzes and event listings are available on the project website.

The installations are on display through September 15 of this year. The benches will be auctioned on October 7 to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust’s efforts at raising literacy levels in the UK.



While much of our reading continues to shift on to digital devices and short-form, it’s refreshing to see an organization create an interactive event that pays homage to the city’s storied history in literature. It comes just as the NLT released a study about a renewed interest in reading from youth for the first time since 2005.

Books About Town
National Literary Trust
Wild In Art

[h/t] Design Taxi


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