BOOK-LOVERS from Marston are aiming to reignite a love of reading in a bid to remind county councillors of the importance of libraries.

The Marston Book Festival will take place a week tomorrow, with events for the whole family.

Co-organiser Ali Luke said: “There has been some concern about Marston’s library and lots of people signing petitions and getting involved.

“There’s a big feeling that books are something we need to promote at the moment.”

The day is to raise money to buy books for Divya Shanthi, an Indian charity that runs a school in Bangalore.

The school provides a home and education up to college level for orphans and children from the city’s poorest communities.

St Nicholas’ Church in Marston has supported the charity since 2000.

Mrs Luke said: “We went on a family trip to Bangalore last year and saw how the money was being spent.

“It was fantastic, they have lots of young students who love reading, but a lack of equipment.

“So we want to raise money to help solve that.”

The event at St Nicholas’ Church Hall, in Elsfield Road, will be divided into two parts, with an afternoon session from 2.30pm where children can enjoy stories, crafts, colouring and quizzes.

Dan North, eight, said he was looking forward to the book sale, while his brother Joel, seven, was excited that his mother would let them visit the festival.

Asked which books he most enjoyed, eight-year-old Matthew Black said: “I like the How to Train Your Dragon books the best.”

The evening session from 6.30pm will feature readings and talks with writers including Professor Jon Stallworthy, an emeritus professor of English literature at Oxford University, Lorna Fergusson, author of The Chase, and Summertown poet David Olsen.

There will also be a prize-giving ceremony for a book cover design competition being run with St Nicholas’ Primary School, where pupils will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday.

Fellow organiser Geoff Hale said: “When our family visited the Divya Shanthi school last year, we were hugely impressed by the professionalism of the teachers and the achievements of the students who had overcome tremendous hardship in their early life.

“But the library was small and antiquated and parents cannot pay for essential texts and other books.”

Oxfordshire County Council is proposing cutting funding to 20 of its 43 libraries to save £2m over the next four years.

For more information about the festival, call Mrs Luke on 01865 434703 or Mr Hale on 01865 248260.