Jamie Oliver has been named the nation’s favourite chef – as it emerged that almost one in three Scots regularly use his cookbooks.

He came ahead of Nigella Lawson, Delia Smith, Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsay in a survey commissioned by the organisers of Scotland’s annual celebration of books and literature.

It found that 12 per cent of Scots have more than 25 cookbooks in the house, second only to fiction as the nation’s most popular choice of book.

The same survey revealed that more than two-thirds of Scots are still buying books as Christmas presents.

One in four will be buying books for children and young people, while a fifth will be buying crime novels for friends and family, according to the survey of nearly 1,300 Scots, which was carried out earlier this month.

The findings were released ahead of the Book Week Scotland festivities, which run from today until 3 December, and are being staged under the banner of a “nourish” theme this year.

Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, said: “At the start of the sixth Book Week Scotland, and just a month before Christmas, it is wonderful to know that books remain one of the favourite present choices for Scots.

“Anyone looking for inspiration should visit the events page of our website where there are literally hundreds of ideas from a huge variety of authors, topics and titles.

“This year’s theme of Nourish taps into the wellbeing effects that come from reading and looks at all the ways books impact positively on our lives. Taking time out to read is good for you, whatever your age and whatever you enjoy.”

Tennis coach Judy Murray, BBC travel presenter Paul Murton, conservationist John Lister-Kay and cookery guru Sue Lawrence will be among the authors taking part in the week-long programme.

Liz Lochhead, Bernard MacLaverty and Gail Honeyman are also involved in the initiative, which is being staged for the sixth time.
An annual poll staged during Book Week Scotland will see the nation vote for its favourite song inspired by a book.

Among the contenders on a “top 40” long-list published earlier this month are Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, The Ballad of Tom Joad by Woody Guthrie, Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell, Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel, and Ramble On by Led Zeppelin.

Mr Lambert added: “Many famous songs have been inspired by books and we are excited to find out from this poll which one comes out on top. Our Top 40 playlist covers many decades and styles, and has something to appeal to all ages and tastes.”

 

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Brian Ferguson

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