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Villagers choose their 100 favourite books
Published 30/06/14

RESIDENTS of Wargrave have chosen their 100 favourite books to go on display in the village library.

The 100 Books Project marks the 90th anniversary of the Church Street library, which opened with just 100 books. It now has more than 6,000 titles.

Librarian Ros Fernley and project organiser Catherine Saker visited pubs, clubs and schools in Wargrave to ask people about their favourite books.

The list includes classics such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. The Harry Potter series also makes the top 100, together with children’s favourite The Hungry Caterpillar.

Miss Saker said: “The response has been lovely and often very impressive.

“The atmosphere was buzzing in the Piggott School library when I went there to collect their votes. It was absolutely jam-packed with students changing their books and completing their reading records.

“If we think that today’s generation are not as connected with the printed word as in the past that has certainly proved us wrong.”

Miss Saker also visited The Mount nursing home in School Hill, where she met the project’s “poster girl”, 103-year-old Phyllis Williams.

“Phyllis was just wonderful,” she said. “We talked about all her recent reads and the books she loved as a child. At the moment she is reading a book on Eleanor of Aquitaine. It was fantastic to meet her.”

Mrs Williams is one of more than 100 Wargrave residents who use the library’s mobile book service, which delivers to 60 homes and clubs in the village.

The book display will be unveiled at a birthday party at the library today (Friday), starting at 7.30pm. Over the weekend, books from the collection will be read at venues around the village.

Miss Saker said: “Wargrave library has a great deal to celebrate. Not only does it do a valuable job feeding the reading habits of Wargrave, but it is really at the heart of the community.

“Library services are under threat in this digital age but Wargrave library continues to serve the community as valuably as it has done for the last 90 years. Roll on the library’s 100th birthday in 2024.”

For more information, call 0118 940 4656 or email ros.fernley@wokingham.gov.uk

PUBLISHED 30/06/14

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