Nestled close to the Pergola and Hill gardens in Hampstead Heath, the Book Peoples Retreat captures the essence of Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. The book immerses the reader in a future where reading is illegal, subsequently, all books must be burnt. Some people flee these restrictions by leaving the cities and starting a settlement in the woods where they each commit a book to memory and dispose of the offending book. Reciting to one another for enjoyment whilst ensuring the literature lives on.
I believe most people have a place to store their much-loved books, whether it’s next to a comfortable chair, a particular shelf or in a glass cabinet kept on display for all to see. Hopefully in time, the Book Peoples Retreat could become the place where people store and share the books that mean something to them.
On approach, faint leaf rustling as the trees creep, alternating bird song and the crackling of fallen twigs underfoot fill the senses as the sight of the retreat pierces through the trees. Making your way up hill, the retreat bridges overhead and you find yourself in the middle of a courtyard, once surrounded by trees, now by books.