Books

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames i i

hide captionJane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.

The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

Among the artists participating are Ralph Steadman, who re-created illustrations from his 1973 edition of Through the Looking-Glass; Rae Smith, the set designer for the stage version of War Horse; and How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell.

In addition to the benches, which will be auctioned off in October, the project will include several literary-themed events, "such as an attempt to break the world record for the most number of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes, next to the Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired bench outside the University of London," according to Time Out.

Here are some of our favorites:

This Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes i i

hide captionThis Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes

Courtesy of National Literacy Trust
This Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes

This Sherlock Holmes bench is expected to attract the detective's lookalikes

Courtesy of National Literacy Trust
Fiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic The Railway Children. i i

hide captionFiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic The Railway Children.

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
Fiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic The Railway Children.

Fiona and Neil Osborne designed this salute to the 1905 classic The Railway Children.

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies." i i

hide captionHow To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust
How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."

How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."

Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust

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