Among recent Memories of Fiction developments I am pleased to report our publication of an edited Themed Section, ‘Interviews and Reading’, of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 16: 1. This includes an Introduction and a selection of seven further articles about using interviews to investigate reading, including our own article about reusing interviews from the 1980s for insights into reading in families. Such reading can involve the avoidance of cleaning, cooking, and children. We are pleased that this Section forms part of a mammoth edition of Participations, as another Section, edited by Danielle Fuller and DeNel Rehberg Sedo, is all about reading and digital media. So I’d encourage you to take a look, to find a wealth of material to read about reading!
In addition, I have an article accepted for Book History: ‘Forgetting Fiction: An Oral History of Reading’. This is based on the interviews we carried out with reading groups in South London, and explores how many of us remember our experiences of reading (the enjoyment of reading, on a bus or in a library, with a parent or on one’s own, for example) rather than books themselves. It will be published next year.
Finally, I am excited that the bid for a follow-on project, ‘Living Libraries’, was successful, and so we will be embarking on further interviews in September, at five libraries across England (Falmouth, Peterborough, Chester, Newcastle, and Colliers Wood), archived by National Life Stories at the British Library. Activities will also include further Living Library installations and performances; and an audio documentary. One of the main aims of the project is to increase public awareness of the value of libraries and to improve understanding of recent changes in library provision.