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Pull up a chair with Paddington Bear: Book benches hit London

By CNN Staff
updated 1:53 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
The marmalade sandwich-loving bear from Darkest Peru is celebrated in this bench on the south bank of London's Thames river. The marmalade sandwich-loving bear from Darkest Peru is celebrated in this bench on the south bank of London's Thames river.
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London's literary loungers: Paddington
'Alice in Wonderland'
London's literary loungers
Bridget Jones
Dr Seuss
'The Jungle Book'
Mary Poppins
'Pride and Prejudice'
'The Time Machine'
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fifty benches celebrating popular London-linked fiction have been scattered about London
  • Paddington Bear, Sherlock Holmes and Mary Poppins among literary creations celebrated by the benches
  • Seating trails will be in place until September after which the benches will be auctioned for charity

(CNN) -- As part of a scheme to encourage reading, 50 benches designed in the style of popular novels or kids' stories have been scattered around London.

Visitors to the city can find the book benches, which mainly celebrate London's rich literary heritage, by following a series of trails around areas with strong links to writing and writers.

Several prominent artists -- including Ralph Steadman, the surreal cartoonist and one-time sidekick of Hunter S. Thompson -- have been involved in creating benches that feature enduring characters such as Paddington Bear, Mary Poppins, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.

The "Books about Town" trails, launched by two UK charities, the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, can be found in London's Bloomsbury, Greenwich, Riverside and City areas until mid-September 2014.

For those who can't get enough of literature-themed loungers, the benches will be auctioned off in October with proceeds going to help fight illiteracy.

MORE: Six ways to celebrate Shakespeare

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