This blog originally appeared on Time to Read, Northwest Libraries’ Reader Development Partnership. 

When I was asked if I’d like to take part in Becky Want’s BBC Manchester Radio Book Club with Danny Middleton from Manchester Central Library, I had no idea what to expect. We would be representing Greater Manchester Libraries but it was a great opportunity to promote libraries and of course, talk about books.

We were both invited to have a look behind the scene at Media City, We met the producer Helen and Becky and the lunch-timers. It was a fabulous afternoon. We were both impressed by the BBC Radio set up. Helen gave us a tour and we had a chat with the lunch-timers. Becky was busy presenting her show; but we did get to say hello.

We went back to Media City on the 1st July to launch “Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith. Danny and I were feeling pretty nervous. We introduced ourselves to our radio audience. Becky highlighted that people could go into their local library in the Greater Manchester area and borrow copies of the titles we would be reading.

Danny promoted Manchester Library and mentioned the Teenage Take-Over Day going on that weekend. I spoke about Bolton Libraries and Museums, services and events. At the end of July, I was back at the studio. Helen had sent me the agenda. I was going to set the scene; talk about the author and give an overview of the book and how people have reviewed it.

Thankfully, I’d read the book and done my research, as Helen understandably wanted it to flow like a conversation; so notes confiscated at the door! In the second half of the show, the book clubbers reviewed “Career of Evil” with mixed thoughts. Becky was taking questions that people had tweeted and rang in with. When you are on radio you have to get used to looking for the red light; it means you’re on air. It feels really strange to hear yourself, when you play the show back.

It’s been a wonderful experience for us; we look forward to reading and encouraging our readers to borrow the books from our Greater Manchester Libraries and also local libraries in the North West.

The books we are reading until the end of 2016 are –

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon (Aug)

The Couple Next Door – Shari Le Pena (Sept)

Moving – Jenny Eclair (Oct)

Finding Tipperary Mary – Phyllis Whitsell (Nov)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce (Dec)

Tune in and listen to us!


Melanie Graaf is Collections Access Officer at Bolton Libraries and Museum Services

Melanie enjoys reading crime, contemporary and classic fiction, and would like to try reading science fiction.