An Inspired Visit to the Palace



“So, what do you do?” is a commonly asked question at networking events and one for which we are generally well prepared. However, when asked this at last night’s Book Aid event at St. James’ Palace, it was a very rare, in fact unique, moment. This is because we were asked the question by HRH Duke of Edinburgh! Stop Press:  Prince Philip is now officially aware of publishing recruitment!

At St James’ Palace last night, Book Aid brought together their donors, fundraisers, trustees and partners to join them, and HRH Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate their work and more generally to raise a glass to Books. Book Aid live by the phrase that ‘books change lives’ and last night we heard accounts from a range of speakers on how this is the case. BBC’s Jonathan Dimbleby, now a regular at Book Aid events, spoke about his travels and how he has seen books influence the lives of people all over the world. Lord Boateng, former Labour politician and British High Commissioner to South Africa, spoke about Ghana and the importance of libraries. He used the African proverb: when an old man dies a library burns to the ground. The fact that this phrase is ingrained into the language shows how important books are to the nation.  They are seen as entwined in life; life is fuelled by stories and knowledge. We also heard from Book Aid’s partner from Sierra Leone who told us about the impact of the charity there which has meant that so many children and families have books who simply wouldn’t otherwise, their opportunity to read is dependent on the work of Book Aid.

Book Aid is dedicated to taking books to the hardest to reach areas and everyone involved with the charity makes this possible. While we can’t imagine a life without books, many people can’t imagine a life with books and the work of Book Aid makes the impossible become possible by bringing books to them. Helen Youngs, our Senior Consultant here at Inspired, is a Publisher Ambassador for Book Aid International, and this role involves raising awareness about the charity. Helen ran a marathon for them last year but there are lots of ways you can help and they are always actively looking for volunteers to promote the charity and become an Ambassador!

Events like last night serve as a reminder as to the magic of our industry and the importance of creating books which impact on our lives, whether it’s a story that moves us, information that teaches us or research that changes the way we think about something. The industry is possible because of the people who are in it and here at Inspired, we are very lucky to be such an integral part of people’s careers within publishing.