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New opportunity to own an iconic BookBench sculpture

4th August 2014 Print

Fifty beautiful benches shaped as open books, each one brought to life by a different local or famous artist, have popped up all over London this summer to captivate visitors and celebrate reading for enjoyment as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Books about Town campaign. Londoners and visitors to the capital are enjoying the chance to sit on their favourite book and they can now bid on a unique BookBench sculpture to take home and treasure.  

‘Books about Town’, launched by the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, brings 50 unique BookBench sculptures to the city, created by local artists and famous names to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment. On 7 October, the BookBenches will be auctioned at the Southbank Centre to raise valuable funds for the National Literacy Trust to tackle illiteracy in deprived communities across the UK.

Those wishing to bid on their favourite BookBench can visit where they can register to bid online during the auction and/or place a sealed bid.

The BookBenches feature stories linked to London and are based on a range of iconic books from treasured children’s stories such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan to classic adult titles including 1984 and The Day of the Triffids. Well-loved literary heroes such as Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Mary Poppins and Hercule Poirot also appear on benches which visitors can discover by following literary trails in Greenwich, City of London, Riverside and Bloomsbury until mid-September.

A whole host of prestigious artists and authors have taken part in Books about Town. Legendary artist Ralph Steadman has recreated his prize-winning illustrations on a Through the Looking Glass BookBench (Steadman won the Francis Williams Book Illustration Prize for Alice in Wonderland in 1972). Axel Scheffler, an ambassador the National Literacy Trust, has painted a BookBench celebrating his work with Julia Donaldson, featuring nine of their characters in a never-seen-before combination!

Children’s authors and National Literacy Trust ambassadors Cressida Cowell and Lauren Child have each designed a BookBench based on their books – How to Train Your Dragon and Clarice Bean. Original illustration by Rae Smith, the Tony and Olivier award-winning stage designer of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse also features on a bespoke War Horse BookBench.

Joanna Trollope, bestselling author and a trustee for the National Literacy Trust says: “We are especially pleased and proud to be bringing such a high-profile campaign to the streets of London to raise awareness of the importance of literacy skills. You will even have the opportunity to take home and treasure a BookBench of your very own and raise crucial funds for the National Literacy Trust to help support their work improving literacy in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas. Books last a lifetime and are to be owned and treasured. Now is your chance to own and sit on your favourite BookBench at home and support the National Literacy Trust by visiting”

For the latest news and to download the Books about Town trail maps of the BookBenches, visit

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