The Big Read


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Our College has partnered with the Kingston University’s Big Read for the 2022/23 academic year. The award-winning shared reading initiative provides a common talking point for you and fellow new undergraduate students. Click here for more information on this year’s book, ‘The Gravity of Us’.

You should have received a special edition of Phil Stamper’s book, ‘The Gravity of Us’ in the post in early September, but if you haven’t, you will be able to pick up a copy from the main pick-up point - outside the Library in the Emily Wilding Davison building on the Egham campus – and if you’re in London, visit the London Campus Helpdesk.

If you are a non-UK student, you will be able to pick up your book during Welcome Week when you go for your ID Check. Find out more here.

The book has many useful messages that may resonate with your current experience of change – dealing with a new place and people, planning for the future – and offers a reflective space for you to unpack your experience as you take up your new path.

During Welcome Week, we’ll be using the book as the ultimate icebreaker to get to know each other and create conversations. Over the coming months, events and talks have been arranged to draw on the text’s themes and messages, including a visit and talk from the author himself.

Throughout September and October, there are a range of different events taking place. You don't need to have read the book to attend. The talks are introductory and suitable for all audiences.

Click the links below for more information.

- Thursday 6 October: Big Read - Space

- Thursday 13 October: Big Read - Mental Health

- Thursday 20 October: Big Read - Social Media 

Click here to find out more about the events.



How is the book selected?

Suggestions for books are gathered from staff and students from all participating Big Read institutions. A list of criteria designed to identify books that make ideal ‘Big Read’ reads is then used to produce a shortlist. A shortlisting panel composed of students and staff (both professional services and academic staff) from all participating institutions then meet to discuss the shortlist and agree the Big Read book of the year!

Is this connected to my studies?

No. The Big Read is a community-building project and is not connected to any discipline or curriculum. It is open to everyone, to be as involved as they wish, with all events entirely optional.

Is the book available in an accessible format?

Students who are registered with specific D&NS support packages can gain access to an accessible edition of the text. Contact D&NS to learn more.

Can I suggest a book for next year’s Big Read?

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm for the project. Royal Holloway’s participation in the project this year is a pilot. If we decide to continue with the project, we will ensure that we create an opportunity for our community of staff and students to nominate books for 2023/24.