Online book club emerges from under the covers of lockdown

Bookface book club
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An online book group that started during lockdown is heading out into the real world.

Bookface was the idea of West End-based broadcaster, campaigner and PR creative Heather Suttie. 

What started out on Facebook last July has grown to 1200 members from all over the world.

And next month Heather is bringing book lovers together in person at an event in Glasgow.

Sally Magnusson will be the guest host for a brunchtime gathering at Glaschu in Royal Exchange Square.

The presenter will be in discussion with Glasgow author and Bookface member Maggie Ritchie about her latest novel.

Attendees are invited to bring four books to swap while enjoying brunch and a discussion.

Heather said she sought the solace of books during lockdown, sometimes reading two a week.

And Bookface was her way of getting great recommendations from people who love books as much as she does.

The group has members in Australia, Bali, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, the US and across the UK.

Heather started the club to get recommendations for things to read during lockdown.

She said: “I’d always wanted to be in a book group but for whatever reason have never joined one – and obviously during lockdown that was impossible.

“Although I have never met the overseas members, they all feel like friends – it’s a really positive community. 

“My Broomhill neighbours are also in the group, so it’s hyperlocal too.”

Heather adds: “We’re lucky too, to have some brilliant authors and creatives in the group and we all have very different tastes in books, that’s what makes it so interesting.

‘I’d always wanted to be in a book group but for whatever reason have never joined one – and obviously during lockdown that was impossible’

Heather Suttie

“We’ll be meeting up to swap books, hear about Maggie Ritchie’s latest novel with Sally Magnusson as our guest host and enjoy brunch, really cannot wait.

“Tickets are selling fast and we hope to host more across Glasgow in lots of different venues, we might even do themed get-togethers with crime fans, music lovers, biography lovers and ones for health and wellbeing too.”

Heather says the ticket price only covers the cost of the event and food. 

Guests drop off their books to swap before enjoying a glass of Prosecco and a brunch menu laid on by Glaschu’s head chef Dion Scott.

Sally Magnusson is guest host
Author Maggie Ritchie will be talking about her new book ‘Daisy Chain’

Maggie’s book Daisy Chain is a historical Scottish novel of independence, women’s art and friendship.

Sally Magnusson said: “I’m delighted to be supporting Maggie on the release of her latest novel, and looking forward to an event that brings together people who share the love of great books.”

  • Bookface Book Swap Brunch at Glaschu is on Saturday July 3, between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Glaschu Restaurant & Bar is 32 Royal Exchange Square, G1 3AB. Tickets are available at Eventbrite here.
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