Don’t Break the Chain!


Hundreds will gather later this month at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to set a new world record for the longest reading chain.  You may be asking yourself, what is a reading chain?  Well, let me fill you in.

A reading chain is when a group of people gather in one location to read aloud from a particular book.  Each participant reads one sentence aloud from the selected book, and in this manner the book is vocalized by many different voices and people.

Last year in Vienna on September 26, 290 book lovers congregated to set the current reading relay record.  However, organizers of the Edinburgh event are eager to get more readers.  100 readers–including local authors– have already been signed up for the Scottish record attempt, and those organizing the event hope to attract at least 350 people by August 19, the day of the actual reading chain.

The avid book lovers who will gather for this record setting event will be reading Scottish award winning author Theresa Breslin’s novel Prisoner in Alcatraz. Maybe if you compute all of the time differences and what not, you can personally participate on your own time and read it aloud wherever you may be.  Even if they don’t technically count you as part of the record, you’ll still know you were secretly a part of it, despite the distance.

Claire Rush studies Geography and French at UC Berkeley. She lives in one of the largest co-ops in North America and has been an active member in the Berkeley Student Cooperative for the last two years. Apart from yoga and biking and the occasional hike, her main activities include chilling, hanging around, trying to teach herself how to cook, daydreaming about Burning Man, and watching seasons of old TV shows on the internet. More from this author →