More to Me Than HIV Read more

More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Love to read

Love to Read: ways of getting back into the habit.

img_6096For many people, reading is a true pleasure, a way of escaping into a different world, for others the very thought of tackling a book can be so daunting, that they are put off by the experience altogether. Such feelings can come from a number of experiencers, from dyslexia, poor eyesight to just not being confident that they will finish a book, which then feeds into despondency.

Thankfully your local library has many options of different reading material to help everyone participate in the pleasure of a good book.

Graphic novels: The time when graphic novels were just for teenage boys has long gone, these days the range of graphic novels cover just about any subject you can think of, from the traditional Super Hero  to books about Brighton history, Maus, to classic tales.
The brilliant thing about graphic novels is there accessibility through pictures and words, making this medium the perfect introduction for the reluctant reader. Brighton and Hove libraries also offer a free download service of hundreds of graphic novels and books that can be borrowed in the same way as physical books.

Essential Skills Books are a collection of classic abridged novels and short
stories. This collection of books are brilliant for people who want to access well known books but are put of by the sheer volume of words. This collection is also a great way for people who wish to learn English as a second language. Many of the Essential skills books are accompanied with a CD allowing the reader to improve their reading skills.

Large Print Books are exactly that, a range of fiction an dnon fiction books written in large print to help those with poor vision.

Audio Books are another way for everyone to access the joy of story telling. For many people, the last time they were read to was as a child. It is only when you choose to give an audio book a go, do you realise just what a pleasure it is to be read too. Audio books are a great for the visually impaired, to have playing in the car on long road trips, to having a great tale read to you before night-time.

Many of Brighton Hove libraries also have a collection of specialist books, from large picture books for children, books in brail and reminiscence books; these books have text and images especially developed for those living with dementia.

There are so many ways for those who love books, haven’t read in a while or are just starting on their journey of discovery into the wonderful world of reading, all it takes is for you to choose your medium, from paper back to ebooks, their is something for everyonew

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Love to Read


There is a new project called Love To Read, whose main remit is to get people of all ages from all walks of life back into the habit of reading. There are many reasons why people have stopped reading, from busy lives to just plainly falling out of love with reeading. Have a look on the Love to Read website to find ways of getting back into a habit that once rediscovered can bring so much joy.

As part of my involvement with the project, Love to Read, I would like to recommend some of my favourite books, first up, Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury’s iconic novel, Fahrenheit 451 first came in to being when he was living in a cramped house with his wife and new born baby daughter, he desperately needed a ‘room of his own’ to write. it was around this time that he was walking through the University of California, he heard the sound of typing in the basement of the library. it was there he discovered a room filled with twelve typewriters that people could rent for ten cents for half an hour.

(Did you know that all fourteen of Brighton and Hove’s libraries offer use of computers for registered library uses, the first hour is free (2 hours free for people on certain benefits) and £1 per hour there after.

Bradbury’s book touchers on the dystopia themes that have been explored in many other mediums of this type, from George Orwell’s, 1984, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World and Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games. (all of which are availible from Brighton and hove Libraries.)

The title of Bradbury’s book, Fahrenheit 451, relates to the temperature at which paper burns and it is book burning that is at the centre of this tale. Set in the future, where houses are fireproof, firemen are employed to seek out and burn any books that are found. Bradbury looks back on past history of both governments and religious authorities who have exerted their power and created fear over others through burning books.

The authorities in Fahrenheit 451 believe that books are harmful as they would make people question their existence and purpose in the world that is controlled through a banal feed of television programmes in which residence are sent scripts so they can interact with the shows.

The main protagonist, Montag, a dedicated firman and destroyer of books, meets a young woman called Clarisse McClellan who unlike the other residents in her neighbourhood notices the natural things in life and finds beauty in them, from a dandelion in the grass to the rain on her face. Montag finds these qualities most strange as he has lived a life of not feeling or thinking for himself for so long.

It is through his further encounters with Clarisse that he begins to question why he destroys books. His motives are shaken further when he, along with his team of firemen raid a house (neighbours are encouraged to inform the authorities if they suspect their neighbours are hoarding books). This is a direct echo of the Bradbury’s concerns he had of Republican U.S. Senator, Joseph McCarthy and his drive to encourage anyone to expose people deemed to be Communists.

On his latest mission, Montag is horrified to find that the person accused of hoarding books has not been arrested and taken to the local asylum. As the books rain down on her and are soaked in kerosene, the woman takes out a box of matches. in the mids of everyones panic, Montag steals one of her books and hides it in his jacket then runs as the woman commits suicide, setting fire to her belovered books as well as herself.

From here on in Montag’s eyes are forced open as he fights everything he had held as true and seeks out others who find passion beyond the mundane in books.

I would highly recommend this book for people who like sci-fi/dystopia novels and for those who have never given this genre a go before. The realism of the settings allow the reader to enter the world of Fahrenheit 451 with ease but will leave them wanting to explore many of the other brilliant novels by Bradbury.

For more infomation about the Love to Read project and how to get invloved please follow this link

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