A hard stare from a public bench bear
July 25, 2014 10:26 PM   Subscribe

"London has become a literary playground: a project by the National Literacy Trust has scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the whole summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character." (The Guardian). The BBC report about the literary benches; the full list of benches from the Books about Town website. CNN has a slideshow that includes a nice photo of the Paddington Bear bench in use.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (11 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The Wodehouse's lack of a cow creamer is more than made up for by Wilde's baby in a handbag.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:00 AM on July 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

One, by a particularly desirable author, is located outside my flat. All the locals have learned by now not to actually sit on them as they will be asked, many many times, to get up so tourists and collectors can take a photo.

They're more interesting than attractive - the opened up book looks chunky and the aesthetic often approaches the local council funded public mural - but it's nice having them around, and nice to spot one you haven't seen before.
posted by tavegyl at 1:44 AM on July 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

What, no Jerome K Jerome (to say nothing of the dog)?
posted by SPrintF at 1:50 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Shouldn't Pepys' Bench be in a seedy coffee shop somewhere?

And who would want to sit on a Triffid bench? This is not a problem with the 1984 bench. We have always rested on Big Bench.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:52 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wisden should surely have featured the iconic yellow cover?
posted by Segundus at 4:27 AM on July 26, 2014

The Mary Poppins bench bothers me. Not only is it much closer to the tone of the movie than of the books, and they're very different, but I'm pretty sure that's the gherkin and the London Eye along the front. That's just wrong.

Two J. M. Barries and no J. K. Rowling seems like an odd choice as well.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:50 AM on July 26, 2014

I've seen a few of these around and they look bloody awful. Ugly, monstrous blob of plastic with a gaudy mural on them.

I didn't even realise it was supposed to be a Book. I was too horrified to look closely at one near Conway hall out of fear of ruining my aesthetic taste.

Interesting idea but terrible execution. Why not just give away books or something? Reminded me of those painted cows.
posted by mary8nne at 7:25 AM on July 26, 2014

Two J. M. Barries and no J. K. Rowling seems like an odd choice as well.

I don't think of Rowling as "London-related," though, except to the extent that every successful author in modern Britain is. Isn't she Scottish? Peter Pan, on the other hand, is deeply associated with London. (I'm not sure how Dr. Seuss found his way in, though...)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:44 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ralph Steadman!!!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:33 PM on July 26, 2014

Do books matter, though?
posted by uosuaq at 6:54 PM on July 26, 2014

It won't be long before people wonder about the strange shape of the benches like they wonder what the icon to save a file means.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:08 AM on July 27, 2014

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