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  • Writer's pictureFirst Floor Space Team

Books Books Books

Sunday 23rd April was World Book Night, a celebration of the power of reading initiated by The Reading Agency. As part of the celebration, First Floor Space was awarded a batch of a novels straight from the printers to give away to our community. We decided to make a day of it, combining the giveaway with a book exchange and a beginners book binding workshop.

Our makers were provided with tools and materials then shown how to create a coptic stitch bound note/sketchbook. We love that crafting gives people a great sense of achievement, to have made something by hand that you can then use or give as a gift is a lovely feeling. All our makers were proud of their books and we are proud of them for persisting even through the tricky bits!

The book we were awarded to give away was a short novel, Passing by Nella Larson, written and published in the US in 1929 but recently republished by Penguin English Library in 2020. I read it in one evening, once you start it’s hard to put down and it feels really contemporary despite being almost a century old. I also then discovered the Netflix film based on the book, I enjoy watching adaptations after I’ve read the book because it’s interesting to see how someone else will visually interpret what you’ve read and I think this film definitely did the book justice. I’ve also now started reading The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, the author was inspired by Passing and has written a brilliant essay on it (contains lots of spoilers).

Our book exchange featured loads of great titles and got lots of people chatting and making recommendations. We had When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, to name just a few! We really appreciated that people brought along books they enjoyed for others to take home.

Matthew’s Yard were fantastic hosts; we were upstairs in the lounge with the sunshine streaming through the windows and lovely food and drink available from the cafe downstairs. We are seriously rooting for them as they transition into a new business model. I ran my first event as a teen at MY when they first opened their previous site off Surrey Street and have always appreciated them as a pilar of Croydon’s community.

At the end of our event we sent everyone home with a delicious Lemon and Ginger green tea generously donated by Tea People ready for reading hour later that evening.

We had such a fantastic day and are very grateful to everyone who participated and supported the event, as one of our makers said ‘can’t beat wholesome fun!’

There's still time to download a free audiobook too from this years collection.

Look out for our next event coming soon and in the meantime keep creating!

Charlie x


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