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Durham Book Festival and East Coast prescribe reading for pleasure to travellers

Durham Book Festival and East Coast prescribe reading for pleasure to travellers

A consulting room, complete with comfy sofa, rugs, lamps, an anatomy skeleton, a chaise longue and, most importantly, well-stocked bookshelves, were set up on the station concourse this morning (Monday 10th October) for passers-by to reveal their reading habits and concerns to the Book Doctor, who then diagnosed potential problems and prescribed appropriate books.

Each person who had a free consultation with the Book Doctor received a personalised reading prescription, and a free book to help broaden their reading horizons.

Durham Book Festival Director Claire Malcolm said: “So many people get stuck in a reading rut or struggle to find books that interest them at all. With so many books published each year, it can sometimes be very hard to know where to start.

“Our Book Doctor only recommending books that we have road-tested and which we can endorse as a great read. Books can be prescribed for those people who might need more entertainment in their lives, who might want to explore the ‘big questions’ or who would just like to read something new and exciting they might not have found by themselves.”

East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “We are delighted to be working with the Durham Book Festival and their Book Doctor, Caroline Beck, to offer advice to people using York station, which was recently named Station of the Year at the National Rail Awards.


“Reading is one of the most popular leisure activities for our passengers when on board our trains or at our stations, and what better way to encourage people to pick up a book and read more than by having the Book Doctor on hand to answer questions and make recommendations for books to read in the future.”

East Coast is sponsoring the 2011 Durham Book Festival.

Durham Book Festival is the biggest and longest-running event of its kind in the north east of England, celebrating its 21st festival this year as it continues to grow, with ticket sales doubling since 2009. Durham Book Festival is made possible through funding from Durham County Council and Arts Council England, and with sponsorship from East Coast and Radisson Blu, Durham.

This year’s Durham Book Festival takes place from 17-23 October, with speakers including Marcus Brigstocke, Ann Cleeves, Alistair Darling, General Lord Richard Dannatt, Richard Dawkins, Tony Harrison, Val McDermid, David Miliband, Chris Mullin Adele Parks, Don Paterson, Jon Ronson, Ali Smith and Lucy Worsley. A full programme of events and booking details are available at


Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi. is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

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Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.