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

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(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.

Book benches hit London – Paddington the Bear

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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