Why do you love Oxford?

Creative Commons image by Ben Werdmuller von Elgg

Why do you love Oxford?

Ok – maybe you don’t … but just imagine you do. (I do!)

For centuries, Oxfordshire’s authors have provided people of all ages around the world with timeless tales of pride, passion and adventure. Just walk down to the Eagle and Child pub for a quick pint where the Inklings (including JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis) met for literary discussion. Wander through the Botanical Gardens and the Pitt Rivers Museum, two sites Phillip Pullman focused on in His Dark Materials. Or just walk up and down High Street and Cornmarket and the back alleys of Oxford’s University centre to see Magdalen College where Oscar Wilde studied and Balliol College where Aldous Huxley wrote about Oxford life. The city is full of legends.

It’s also full of students and children and locals and tourists – all of which create the lifeblood of this city. What do they come here for? To learn. To read. To understand.

Oxford’s place in the past has quickly pushed it into the present and the future with publishers, writers and students leading the way. The


The Norrington Room at Blackwell's Book Shop, Broad Street

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival calls the greatest and most insightful authors and speakers to Oxford each year, while the University of Oxford produces brilliant writers, philosophers and publishers. Just next door, Oxford Brookes University houses one of the best Publishing programs in the world. Oxford University Press, the largest University Press in the world, continues to publish books of the highest calibre in all genres while Blackwell’s Bookshop claims the largest single room devoted to book sales in the whole of Europe (the Norrington Room, 10,000 sq ft). Marlowe’s Dr Faustus will even be playing there in the next few months (I have my ticket!). The play Brontë is coming to the Oxford Playhouse as is Great Expectations. Add to this an eclectic mix of culture, performers, parks, the Cowley Road (great for people-watching!) and some pretty incredible events. You don’t have to be involved in the fantastic publishing scene to love this city.

Publishing doesn’t consist of old men in dusty rooms, pouring over ancient texts (well…maybe sometimes). It’s vibrant and full of life and new research and ideas and versatility – and Oxford is at the heart of it, with so much history and so many innovations. Oxford is truly unbound.

We’ve got The Story Museum preparing to open in 2014. New parts of the Bodleian Libraries (‘the Bod’) are gearing up for reopening. Oxford Brookes is under renovation. The Blackwell’s Espresso (Print on Demand) machine (very very cool) is coming in 2012 all the way from London. Book clubs, writing workshops, speaker events and more. I even saw the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland walking down Cornmarket Street last week (if you live in Oxford, you know it’s possible).


Vintage Penguin books on sale in the city centre

Hopefully, I can latch on to the energy of Oxford’s publishing world and bring it to you each week with blog posts, videos and interviews. I want to highlight what’s beautiful in this city and make you love it (if you don’t already), while promoting the importance of reading and books to our lives.

If you’d like to know more about me, the blogger (Brianna), then check out the ‘Who Am I?’ tab at the top of the blog. Alternatively (and more importantly) have a look at ‘About the Bid‘, providing all the background on this project to push Oxford to the world’s stage with a year-long festival dedicated to books, reading, writing, freedom and life.

I’d love to read your comments, suggestions, event tips and stories. Email me at worldbookcapital@gmail.com

2 Responses to “Why do you love Oxford?”
  1. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.

    I am attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!


  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

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