On Sunday Bookswarm’s Simon Appleby went to a literary event – in a rural pub! A perfect combination, especially given that the book in question was Pete Brown’s Shakespeare’s Local (Pan Macmillan), Pete’s history of The George Inn on Borough High Street. Pete talked about what made him want to write a social history of a pub and why he picked this one, and told a paying audience of around fifty people some of the controversy about how the pub is dated (and what that has to do with the Sugababes and Only Fools and Horses!). A good laugh was had by all (and quite a few pints, no doubt).

It’s not uncommon in London to find literary events and book slams in pubs and bars – but elsewhere, it’s perhaps less common. It’s nice to see that there’s an appetite for bookish events in the right non-traditional venues – because while we love bookshops, libraries and lit fests, not everyone takes the time or has the opportunity to go to them.

So here’s to seeing a more diverse range of venues featuring in author tours in the future… and for those in need of a decent pint and locally sourced food, the hostelry in question was the excellent Thatcher’s Arms in Mount Bures, Essex.