So on Tuesday I did something a little bit different. I went to Ikea in Wembley, North London, to do some reading. An unusual destination you might think, but not this week. Ikea have teamed up with the Man Booker Prize and have a small area dedicated to reading, the shelves are stacked with copies of the long listed books, you get to browse the shelves, pick some books and sit in a comfy chair for an hour of uninterrupted (well unless you count someone bringing you a cup of tea that is) reading.
Actually that’s not totally true. A number of people ignored the closed curtains around the area and walked right in to admire the bookshelves (Billy bookcases obviously), storage or to try out the comfy seating. The area is also located right at the top of the escalators into the store, meaning that it was really quite noisy.
But don’t let that put you off. I really enjoyed my time in the Ikea reading room, and what book lover won’t enjoy looking at shelves of books just waiting to picked up, stroked and sniffed (if you like that sort of thing). The first book that I picked up appealed to me based on the cover alone, which was beautiful and I could see it sitting there on my shelf looking pretty. I also picked up another book, Snap by Belinda Bauer, a book that jumped out because I’d heard it being talked about so wanted to read the blurb and a bit more about it.
I opened Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, the book with a stunning cover. I started to read but after a few pages I turned to Snap, it seems that crime thrillers really are my preferred genre. I started to read it and was hooked right in, and so the rest of my time was spent reading Snap.
At the end of my time there I reluctantly put Everything Under back on the shelf, someone else can have that copy and enjoy looking at it on their shelf instead, because I bought home Snap by Belinda Bauer.
The Ikea Reading Room is a little bit odd, but it is also very cool too. Anything that brings reading into people’s lives is a good thing in my book (mind the pun). You have to book a slot to use the reading room, although it seems that there are still plenty of slots still available and so you might get lucky and be able to spend an hour in the reading room when you go shopping. But it is best to book in advance and the link to do that is below.
The reading room is open from 31st July to 4th August 2018 at Ikea Wembley.
IKEA AND THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE CREATE READING ROOMS FOR RELAXATION
- The Reading Rooms, filled with free novels, celebrate reading for relaxation and are designed to encourage the nation to read at home.
- Following the announcement of the Man Booker Prize 2018 longlist on 24 July, IKEA will play home to ‘book clubs’ where the public can read and take away a copy of one of the longlisted titles
- The experience is launched as IKEA research reveals that over 10% of Brits have not read a book in the last year, and nearly 13 million books are started but unfinished.
- The Reading Rooms will run from Tuesday 31st July to Sunday 5th August at the IKEA Wembley store. To relax into greatness and to book a slot, visit: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/store/wembley/events-wembley/
The Swedish retailer, IKEA, has partnered with the Man Booker Prize to launch a new initiative to get the nation reading for relaxation. The IKEA Reading Rooms will feature the 13 longlisted titles which can be read, enjoyed and taken home for free.
Following research by IKEA which revealed that 21.6 million (33%) of us only have time for a book when on a summer holiday, the two partners have taken action to get us reading in our everyday lives.
In the IKEA Wembley store, visitors will experience a reading haven in a Living Room space. Reading lamps, chairs and BILLY bookcases filled with a selection of this year’s finest fiction, as announced by the Man Booker Prize tomorrow, will be on hand.
The initiative is designed to help alleviate stress and help make the home a haven again. Over half of workers (59%) feel they are under pressure to respond to emails even when they are home and have finished official work hours — which suggests that preventing the trials of workplace from entering our homes has never been more important. Sitting down and disappearing into a good book is a way to do just that.
Research from the University of Sussex* shows that reading just six minutes a day can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds. Meanwhile, research conducted by IKEA has found 64% of Brits believe TVs, laptops and smartphones often bring the stress and fast pace of the outside world into the place we should be experiencing pure relaxation.
Luis Lopez, Head of Living Rooms, IKEA UK and Ireland said, “The Reading Rooms give us a chance to use our retail space to inspire people to think about the importance of relaxation at home. Reading at home is good for your health and helps you transform your living room into a haven from the outside world.
“In partnering with The Man Booker Prize we know we are giving people the chance to read the best of this year’s books.”
Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said, “If you associate reading with holidays then you probably associate it with indulgence. And – it’s true – reading fiction can be, at its best, a form of escapism. But that doesn’t make it a guilty pleasure. It’s more like a fast route to better health. Our homes are filled with devices that allow the digital world to encroach on our private lives. Reclaim your privacy, and your imagination: read a book!”
At the IKEA Reading Rooms, visitors will be able to come to a dedicated space in IKEA Wembley and enjoy a good read in the most relaxing of conditions. Whether that is curling up on our cosy STRANDMON armchair, losing yourself in a story from our classic BILLY bookcase or propping your feet up after a long day on our comfy POÄNG footstool, this space will enable people to relax and unwind. With hour-long slots available from 10am-6pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday, bookworms will be able to curl up with a book (which they can also take away with them) and unwind into a wonderful state of escapism in their own cosy, personal living room.
To book your slot and relax into greatness at the IKEA Reading Rooms, visit: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/store/wembley/events-wembley/
For more tips and inspiration on creating a living room space that helps you ‘relax into greatness’ at home, visit the IKEA website:https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/ideas/
The IKEA Reading Rooms, will be open to the public from Tuesday 31stJuly until Sunday 5th August.
About the Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize was established in 1969 and is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. In 2018 the prize celebrates its 50thyear with a year-long anniversary campaign to introduce new audiences to its winning, shortlisted and longlisted books. The 2018 longlist is announced on 24 July, the shortlist on 20 September and the winner on 16 October. The winner receives £50,000 as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the shortlisted authors. Both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a worldwide readership plus an increase in book sales. The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm.