Warwick District Council has been offering its support to a local charity providing free books to children. The ‘Own Books’ scheme was founded in January 2014 by Julie de Bastion, who through voluntary work at her local primary school discovered that several of the children didn’t have books at home. This inspired her to devise a recycling scheme where books are collected from participating

charity shops or parents, cleaned and labelled with the Own Books logo and distributed to local schools. ‘Own Books’ has been awarded funding through the Warwick District Council small grants scheme and the volume of books received has been so great that they have been given an area in the Council’s headquarters in Leamington to store and process the books.


Cllr Sue Gallagher Warwick District Council’s Portfolio holder for Culture commented; “This scheme is a wonderful example of volunteers in the local community working together to give our children the gift of books and reading which will stay with them throughout their lives. I would encourage anyone who has books at home that could be donated to visit the Own Books website to find out how they can take part”


Wednesday 13 January the scheme’s first anniversary is being marked as ‘Own Books’ day and supporters are hoping that this will become an annual reading event.  Local participating schools include Kingsway Primary School, Whitnash Primary School and Sydenham Primary School and it is hoped that more schools will join over the coming months.


Carol Glenny Associate Head Teacher Sydenham Primary School commented; “At Sydenham Primary School, we are always looking for new ways to promote reading and a love of literature.  "Own Books" has added an extra, exciting dimension to our reading curriculum and has particularly helped families who may not have easy access to books. Pupils have loved the freedom to choose

any book they like from the shelf and have been thrilled that it is theirs to keep.  Other students have been excited by the idea of recycling and have borrowed a book and then chosen to return it for another child to enjoy.  "Own Books" has helped to raise the profile of reading within the school community and has helped us to promote a life-long love of books.


Pictured at Sydenham Primary School from left to right Sophie Hall, Carol Glenny (Associate Headteacher), Julie de Bastion
(Own Books founder) Morgan Alcock, Ishita Mahesh, Tristan Blackwell and Anthony Cahalane.




Own Books would like to thank Henley Rotary Club for giving us another grant at the start of 2016.


To celebrate Own Books Day on January 13th, we've developed a list of thirteen great things that happens to children who read!

1) Children who read have more words in their vocabularies

2) They have vivid imaginations

3) They are good at seeing pictures in their heads

4) Are good  at solving problems in their heads

5) Are good at writing

6) Are  good at communicating in words

7) Are inquisitive and lively

8) Are good at concentrating

9) Are good at reading

10) Know quite a lot about many things

11) Are generally very smart

12) Have lots of words to use to express their ideas feelings and thoughts

13) Love to read and share the good books with each other

You can take a  book with you anywhere and you don't even need to plug it in or recharge it! AND if you use the own books scheme don't even need to buy the books.  They are absolutely free to keep!



Wishing you a good start to a new term and a new year. Happy book collecting and inspired reading. Own Books is now celebrating its own 'Own Books Day' on January 13th and we would welcome you to celebrate by being creative with writing, art, illustration or whatever has inspired you to want to share your ideas and views on any of the books that you have read. You can submit creative work to the Own Books website by e-mail and win a book bag.


© Julie de Bastion 2018