A former Leader reporter will undertake a literary fundraiser to support an independent library

Rhian Waller recently joined the staff at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, which shut for 18 months following the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

The 36-year-old, who grew up in Mold and now lives in Chester, has pledged to undertake a 24-hour readathon to raise funds and awareness for the library, which has now reopened.

She said: "I won't say the situation at Gladstone's Library has caused me sleepless nights, exactly, but I'm prepared to give up a good night's sleep to encourage people to support the library."

Peter Francis, director of the library, said he supported Rhian in her challenge.

He added: "The genius of Gladstone's Library is that it gives you the space, comfort and distraction-free time to read, write and think.

"People often say that you can do a month's work or reading, writing and thinking in a week here."

The library is a hub, hosting reading and writing groups, classes, talks and festivals. It also offers residencies and scholarships to writers.

Rhian said: "Things have been going well since it reopened in September. People are coming back to stay and use the Reading Rooms, which is great.

"Gladstone's is an unusual place: it's a charity and it provides hospitality, and everyone knows that both charities and hotels and restaurants were hit hard by the last year and a half - it's effectively been a double whammy for this historic institution.

"If this helps keep it thriving, then I'll be happy."

Rhian, a published author herself, plans to stay at the library overnight and read one short story (or more) per hour for 24 hours and live-post responses to and reviews of the tales she encounters.

People can suggest stories, share their own reviews of them and follow along online through the Gladstone Library social media channels.

If you want to suggest a story of 10,000 words or less, message @Gladlib on Twitter or Instagram or drop a message on the Gladstone's Library Facebook page.

Rhian said: "I'll read pretty much anything, and generally when I'm into a book, time passes fast. I'm not sure whether that will be the case at 4am after no sleep, though."

The literary fun starts at 5pm on December 5. You can donate to Rhian's read-a-thon at https://www.gofundme.com/f/rhians-readathon

You can find out more about Gladstone's Library by visiting www.gladstoneslibrary.org