This month was all about taking it down a gear and going easy on our minds and bodies after a hectic GRESB period. After working towards a big deadline, it’s so important to take some time and check in with yourself. We thought one of the best ways to do this would be to have a month dedicated to books. Our main aim for Booked For July was to take it slow with no pressure of deadlines but plenty of book activities to calm and relax.
Whether you prefer self-help books or fantasy books that transport you away to another world, there is no better feeling that getting comfy with a book and, maybe, an iced tea considering the July heatwaves! And yet when we are busy, we never carve out time to read, despite the fact that reading reduces stress, improves our concentration, expands our vocabulary, enhances our knowledge and increases our imagination and creativity. All these together increment our wellbeing!
We started the month by creating a Book Swap Library where EVORians could bring in books for others to borrow. We made inserts so that the book owners could tell others a bit about the book. You could write what this book made you feel or what you think the next reader should be doing while reading that book – for Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight book it was recommended that you be drinking wine in the ruins of a church to really get into the mind space of the book.
We decided that having the Book Swap in the office is a great way to get people back in to reading but, also, for books that people don’t want back, it was a brilliant way to recycle them. So as well as picking up a read that’s recommended by our fellow EVORians, we are also doing our bit to give these books a second go at life.
We’ve also had book mark making arts and crafts in the break out room for the month. These were left out the whole time, so whenever people needed a break from the ordinary they could pop into the Library and create a bookmark. We had tonnes of pens and pencils for drawing on the bookmarks, googly eyes, and even scratch to reveal bookmarks. If, like me, you are not artistic at all and struggle to even draw a ghost, then these bookmarks are for you! They came with stencils and all you had to do was scratch away your chosen design to reveal the colourful rainbow beneath – yet I still managed to make my elephant look quite angry!
Lastly, we introduce the Book Club. This was something that anyone from any country could join in with. We asked everyone for book recommendations and did a poll to choose the book for the month. This is something we will be continuing for the rest of the year – we’ve chosen the themes for each month and are looking forward to meeting up to discuss the books.
This month’s theme was a beach read, as so many people are on holiday at the moment. The winner of the poll was Beach Read by Emily Henry, which the whole group have enjoyed immensely. We will be meeting next week to discuss the book, with people from outside London joining remotely.
We’ve enjoyed taking it easy this month and have decided to keep our book swap library open. We should always strive to make a positive change wherever we can!