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Bookworms enjoy delving between the covers at East End reading festival

PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:23 05 October 2010

THE FIRST festival celebrating books and reading in Tower Hamlets libraries attracted 250 bookworms eager to hear about some of the murkier sides of London life. The festival took the themes of crime and history and was hosted at Tower Hamlets libraries

THE FIRST festival celebrating books and reading in Tower Hamlets libraries attracted 250 bookworms eager to hear about some of the murkier sides of London life.

The festival took the themes of crime and history and was hosted at Tower Hamlets libraries and Idea Stores.

Crime writer John Harvey whose famous creations are hardbitten detectives Charlie Resnick and Frank Elder talked about delving into the murky underworld.

Spitalfields resident Dan Cruickshank shared his research into prostitution in Georgian London and how it helped fuel a property boom, whilst Tower Hamlets born novelist Kia Abdullah talked about her new thriller Child's Play.

Meanwhile at Bethnal Green library London Books introduced a new audience to popular 1930s novels Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby,

They Drive By Night by James Curtis and Night and The City by Gerald Kersh.

Although the books were made into firms they have become largely forgotten by modern readers.

Manzu Islam spoke about his stories set in Spitalfields and Bangladesh in his 1990s book of short stories The Mapmakers of Spitalfields.

Library campaigner and author of the goodlibraryblog Tim Coates revealed the horrors of the Crimea War which he described in his book Delane's War.

The festival was held at the Whitechapel Idea store and Bethnal Green library to mark an increased number of borrowers this year.

Head of culture Judith St John is confident that records will hit the one million mark by April- the number of loans by the end of October stood at 630,362, up ten per cent on the previous year.

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