Why thousands of Preston’s kids are playing hide and seek with books this summer

Posted on - 21st August, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Kid's stuff, Parks, People, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Julie with her daughters Freya and Layla
Julie with her daughters Freya and Layla

Thousands of children in Preston are taking part in a city-wide book hunt thanks to one mum.


Julie Brogden of New Longton started hiding books in July with the help of her daughters, Freya, 8, and Layla, 5, after seeing a similar initiative in her home county of Cumbria. She set up the Preston Look for a Book Facebook group on 31 July, and it has already grown to over 4,000 members.

Books are now being hidden in all sorts of weird and wonderful locations for other children to find and read, along with a note directing the finder to the Facebook group.

Julie said: “I saw what was happening in Cumbria and thought it looked amazing. I realised there wasn’t anything like it in Preston so the kids and I went and hid the first books, and there’s been a massive knock-on effect from there.

“We’ve spread outwards from New Longton to other parts of Preston like Fulwood and Ashton, and even further to places like Durham.

“Books have been hidden in parks, on buses and indoors at places like the Harris. The other day someone posted in the group that they’d found a book outside Buckingham Palace!”

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Julie is enjoying seeing how much her idea is getting kids excited about reading. She said: “My eldest loves technology but this is getting her and lots of other kids back into books and being outdoors.

“They like the thrill of finding a book. Also, children normally don’t want to give their things away but with this they enjoy the fact someone else will find their book and appreciate it.”

As well as creating a fun adventure for the kids, civil servant Julie has been receiving lots of compliments from grateful adults.

“As a parent it’s hard trying to think of stuff to do with the kids, especially when the weather is bad.

“I’ve had parents messaging to say what a fantastic idea it is and how much they love it. I think they’re just as excited as the kids. They post videos of their children running to find books and being so excited when they find them. And the good thing is that people are going out even when it’s raining.”

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Books are hidden in a weatherproof bag with the note, which reads:

“Hello, you are the lucky finder of this book. I hope you enjoy it! If you choose to take it away to read, or pass it on to someone else to enjoy. Keep it as long as you please. When you’re finished with it, please rehide it or hide a new book for someone else to enjoy. Thank you. Post on #Prestonlookforabook.”

Read more: See what’s on in Preston

What do you think of Preston Look for a Book? Have you been taking part? Let us know in the comments below.

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