Celebrate World Book Night with us

World Book Night (Friday 23 April) brings people from all backgrounds together with one goal – to share their love of reading and inspire others to read more. This year the libraries of Aldershot, Andover , Fleet, Chandler’s Ford and Gosport will be taking part, sharing free copies of ‘Stories to Make You Smile’ edited by Fanny Blake and Matt Haig’s latest book ‘The Midnight Library’.

World Book Night, which is supported by the major publishers and run by The Reading Agency is a campaign to encourage reading. Reading for pleasure is a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health, yet in the UK 31% of adults don’t read in their free time.

Our teams will be taking the free books into the community to reach people who don’t normally visit their local library. We will be handing out copies of both books at railway stations and Saturday markets, having conversations about reading with people who do not read regularly or have books at home.

Stories to Make You Smile

This seriously entertaining collection of feelgood stories was edited by Fanny Blake and written especially by ten bestselling novelists: Jenny Eclair; Katie Fforde; Veronica Henry; Rachel Hore; Vaseem Khan; Dorothy Koomson, Helen Lederer; Richard Madeley; Eva Verde and Mark Watson.

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make You Smile is also available as a free eBook and audiobook download.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Matt Haig, the number one bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet and award-winning books for children, including A Boy Called Christmas, brings us his latest book about regrets and second chances.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret, Nora feels she has let everyone down, including herself, but things are about to change and the library can help her find the answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

Take part in World Book Night online

You can also join in with a number of free events on World Book Night, which are being run by The British Library in conjunction with The Reading Agency.

Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Kate Mosse 6-7pm
Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary fiction authors, appears in conversation bestselling author Kate Mosse to discuss Klara and the Sun, his first book since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Klara and the Sun is an intensely moving and beautiful exploration of human connection and creativity in the face of loneliness and advanced technologies. Ishiguro looks at our changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

He talks to Kate Mosse about the inspiration for the novel, and the power of books and reading to bring people together and change lives.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. Book your ticket now.

#ReadingHour 7-8pm
Reading Hour is an invitation for you to dedicate an hour reading in any way; read alone or with others, listen to an audiobook while preparing your dinner, have a book club meeting, call a friend to chat about books – the possibilities are endless! Share what you’re doing on social media using #ReadingHour.

Books to Make You Smile, hosted by Sandi Toksvig 8-9pm
Sign-up to hear exclusive readings from special guests about the books that make them smile. World Book Night Ambassador Sandi Toksvig talks live to featuring best-selling authors David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow), Bolu Babalola (Love in Colour), and World Book Night founder and Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. Book your ticket now.

Digital Readers – February book

The book our online reading group will be reading (or listening to) and discussing in February has been decided on through a vote in the group. The results are in and the February book is…

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

This 2018 non-fictional book by Matt Haig sets out to answer three important life questions:
– How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
– How do we stay human in a technological world?
– How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?
Having experienced anxiety and panic attacks for years, Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the twenty-first century.

From 1 February, until the end of the month, this book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app without having to wait or having to reserve it. It will be available to simply download right away – as both an eBook and an eAudiobook.

The group is open to anyone above the age of 16, with a Facebook account and a Hampshire Library card. If you would like to join the group; just head over to our Facebook page.

Hang on; how does an online reading group work?

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. Ther will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!

Digital Readers – December book

The book our online reading group will be reading (or listening to) and discussing in December has been decided on through a vote in the group. The results are in and the December book is…

A boy called Christmas by Matt Haig

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this book is full of impossible things. Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin.

This 2015 children’s book by Matt Haig is packed with magic, humour and festive cheer and whilst its target audience is those aged 7-9, all ages are bound to enjoy this festive tale.
It starts of very bleak, but soon this tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an 11-year-old boy called Nikolas, will keep you reading and fill you with festive cheer.

From 1 December, until the end of the month, this book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app without having to wait or having to reserve it. It will be available to simply download right away – as both an eBook and an eAudiobook.

The group is open to anyone above the age of 16, with a Facebook account and a Hampshire Library card. If you would like to join the group; just head over to our Facebook page.

Hang on; how does an online reading group work?

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. Ther will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!