Join our global reading event, Page Against the Machine!
Whether you’re joining us in person or online, take an hour out of your busy day for a well-deserved read!

Following the success of our global event last year, we’re delighted to announce that other cities across the international creative network will once again be joining us to host simultaneous ‘Page Against the Machine’ events in their own literary cities!

Page Against the Machine is a weekly reading event founded and hosted by independent bookshop The Book Hive which encourages participants to set aside an hour of time for quiet reading in the shop. On Saturday 25 May, a special outdoor edition of the event will take place in The Plantation Garden on Earlham Road as part of the City of Literature strand of Norfolk & Norwich Festival – a weekend programme of words and ideas presented by Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing (NCW), programmed by NCW.

Audiences are invited to ‘pick a book, bring a cool drink and turn off your phone for a well-deserved detox read’.

Wrocław UNESCO City of Literature, Poland

Head to Proza, the most literary club in Wrocław UNESCO City of Literature with a paper copy of the book you want to read. Grab a coffee, tea or water and spend an hour enjoying the mindful and ‘rebellious’ act of reading!


Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, UK

Pick a book, bring a picnic blanket, and turn off your phone for a well-deserved detox read in the beautiful surroundings of Bromley House Library’s hidden garden in Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. Find out more →


Leeuwarden UNESCO City of Literature, Netherlands

Phone off, book on! Join Leeuwarden for a well-deserved detox read in the beautiful surroundings of the Prinsentuin public park in Leeuwarden UNESCO City of Literature. Sit back in a comfortable reading chair and forget everything around you for a moment. Find out more →



About Page Against the Machine

Page Against the Machine was created in 2017 by bookseller Joe Hedinger in response to research from the UK charity The Reading Agency, which found that 67% of UK adults would like to read more. He said:

‘The research found that reading wasn’t just for entertainment. Nearly two thirds of people said they’d like to turn to a book in times of stress, anxiety or illness. However, people struggle to find time to read, because the demands and distractions of hectic lifestyles get in the way.

‘Our idea was to think about reading as a practice. Rather than snatching a few lines before bed or on your commute, what if reading was something you committed regular time to — just like putting an hour aside for the gym, yoga or meditation?

‘Considering the pace of modern life, taking a moment to slow down and focus on one thing isn’t just good for our wellbeing – it’s actually quite a rebellious act!’


In partnership with The Book Hive. Supported by the UNESCO Cities of Literature network.


City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by the National Centre for Writing.


You may also like...

Page Against the Machine: an interview with The Book Hive

Joe Hedinger discusses the power and importance of reading


16th May 2023

Norwich UNESCO City of Literature

The Plantation Garden

A Wandering Words commission by performance poet and A&E nurse Piers Harrison-Reid


16th March 2023

Digital Storytelling
New Writing
Norwich UNESCO City of Literature

Explore five accessible walks in Norwich with Lou Tondeur

Louise Tondeur shares five accessible walks through Norwich


26th October 2022

NCW Recommends
Norwich UNESCO City of Literature
Walking Norwich