About a Boy & Kingston University

In 2015 Kingston University launched their inaugural ‘Big Read’ programme – offering the entire cohort of new undergraduate and postgraduate students (and all faculties) the chance to own a limited edition of Nick Hornby’s most famous novel, About a Boy.

10,000 books were printed for the promotion, incorporating Kingston University branding, a letter from the Vice-Chancellor, a selection of questions written by students and reading tips to guide focus groups. A digital copy of the specially adapted text was also created those who find reading print difficult due to dyslexia.

Nick Hornby, ‘flattered and excited that [the] novel is now in the hands of 10,000 students’ supported the programme with a series of talks, signings and ‘meet the author’ opportunities.

Dr Alison Baverstock, publishing expert and Kingston professor, said Students receiving the book have told us that they felt really valued and welcomed by the University […] we even had to reprint the book to meet demand.’