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Royal Holloway's Big Read

We're really excited to be taking part in the Big Read this year, which will create connections among university students all across the UK through literature. Before you start your studies with us in September, you'll receive a free copy of Phil Stamper's The Gravity of Us. Everyone in your year will receive the same book, as well as some staff members, so you’ll have plenty of people to talk to about if you decide to participate.

Watch the video below to find out more from Phil.

The book explores ideas and messages about new experiences, encountering diverse people and cultures and moving to a new place. So while everyone's journey to Royal Holloway is different, the themes within the book might resonate with you as you start out on your own. It’s totally normal to feel nervous about what's to come in the next few months, but this shared reading experience is one way to help you feel part of something bigger and inspire you as you get ready to join Royal Holloway.

Once your place with us in confirmed, if you have a UK or EU address, we’ll post out your copy at the start of September. If you are living outside the UK or EU, you'll be able to collect your copy when you arrive on campus and complete your enrolment. 

It's not compulsory to take part, but we hope that you'll be able to find some time before you start your academic studies to read it. There'll be a series of talks throughout Term 1 exploring the book's themes and topics relevant to our community in more detail. 

During Welcome Week and the first term, you'll see and hear lots about The Gravity of Us. We'll have a series of talks which will help to introduce some of our services like Wellbeing and Careers. The highlight will be a visit and talk from the author, Phil Stamper. 

Yes, staff from around the university will also be reading it, and some of the first students you'll meet, your Peer Guides and Hall Life teams, will also be joining in. Why not use it as a conversation starter and to get to know new people? 

You'll find out more about Welcome Week activities covering the book in the coming months.


Royal Holloway is partnering with Kingston University's Big Read for the first time in 2022.