PENGUIN Random House and Jamie Oliver, in partnership with the national charity The Reading Agency, will today donate a copy of his new cookbook Save with Jamie free to every library in the UK. Essex County Council has dispatched a copy of the book to the 74 libraries across Essex.
It is Jamie’s mission that the book, which is a response to the overwhelming public demand for a cookbook about exciting food that doesn’t ‘break the bank’, should be made accessible to everyone, not just to the people who can afford to buy it. Essex library users will now have the chance to learn recession busting cooking skills for free, thanks to Jamie, his publisher, and the unique brokering role that The Reading Agency plays in connecting public libraries to publishers. The Save with Jamie gift is a powerful example of the rich reading experiences made available to libraries in Essex and 4000+ libraries around the country through The Reading Agency’s publisher partnerships programme, supported by the Society of Chief Librarians and 43 publishers.
Jamie Oliver said: ‘We know from the fabulous work that libraries do every day that everyone deserves a chance to learn basic skills that can improve everyday lives. Reading and cooking are two of those skills for sure. I’ll admit I’ve been a late developer with the first, but I can definitely help with the second.’
Save with Jamie is clear in its intention: to help families and communities under financial pressure to shop smart, cook clever, eat well and waste less. In this age of austerity, with spiralling food costs and the average family wasting £680 on food a year, Jamie’s mission is to make sure everyone can cook well. And libraries, with their vital, free community services and space, are a crucial resource for people when times are tough.
Thanking Jamie, Essex County Councillor John Jowers, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning said: “This is a fantastic initiative from Jamie Oliver and his publisher and one I’m sure Essex residents will take advantage of. Having access to free books and resources is vitally important in helping our communities learn new experiences, try new skills and improve their knowledge. I hope this new cook book inspires our residents and encourages more people to discover what their local library can offer.”
For the next few weeks Essex libraries will be highlighting books that promote healthy living and eating, living within a budget and other celebrity chef titles.