Although I missed out on the inception year of the Margate Bookie, I have been an active volunteer of the ever-growing and expanding book festival in Margate since 2015, and I can honestly say that I am so glad and proud to have been a part of it up to now, and am equally glad that I will remain an ever present participant to the festival in the years to come.
Introduced to the Bookie through enrolment at Canterbury Christ Church University, the first year was a great introduction to a different aspect of the literary world that has not previously been open to me. It paved the way for involvement in a wide variety of different activities and tasks that the Bookie required of me, as well as meeting people from a range of professional and social backgrounds, all with stories to tell and experiences to impart on the eager to learn and the like-minded souls such as myself. The Margate Bookie broadened my literary horizons to wider scopes than I thought possible, and while others shrunk away from the Bookie, I wanted to make sure that I remained within sight and reach of the Bookie to continue to develop and grow as the Bookie itself has continued to do.
Since then, my involvement in the Margate Bookie has evolved and grown to the point where I have become an integral part of the logistical and technical aspects that the Bookie faces each year and at each event that are run. Working alongside the great team that make up Margate Bookie is a privilege, as is the chance to learn from each of the team’s experiences, wisdoms and tomes of knowledge they have acquired in the many years they have been working in their fields of work. My networking opportunities have expanded since my involvement in the Bookie, where I am now able to read, listen and help organise events and sessions within and outside of the Bookie with different members of the team. Each new experience I have helps me to change and alter my way of thinking and, in a way, help others in the same way too.
The Margate Bookie, for me, has evolved way beyond a simple literary festival. Volunteering over the years has opened up avenues I never knew existed, has explored opportunities that would never have been ventured, developed relationships that would never have been sought and has taught me things that I never knew were possible. The Margate Bookie, then, is a gateway to possibilities and, whether you are with us for one event or want to be involved in everything from this point forward, you will definitely go away with more food for thought than you ever thought you could feast your eyes upon.