Normally I see no problem with taking my summer holiday in November. Summer is a state of mind, not a season, and as the plane touches down near the Mediterranean each year, I find my thoughts turning to the hearty soups and stews and crackling fires to be found in Italy's hill-town restaurants, which are the kind of heat-sources I like best.

Last year, however, and again in this, I have experienced a nagging conscience about the timing of my departure. Within hours of my reaching the homeland of Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco, Book Week Scotland will begin (November 24-30). The Herald is the media partner of this project, which is masterminded by the team at Scottish Book Trust with such efficiency one might think they trained at Sandhurst.

What started as a relatively low-key idea to promote Scottish books has swiftly snowballed to become little short of a nation-wide festival. Hosted by libraries, bookshops, community centres, theatres, colleges and schools, its presence will be felt from north to south.

Nor do you need move from your armchair to take part. The Book Week Reading Pledge involves nothing more than filling in an online form, saying what you intend to do to mark the week. It could be promising to read a specific book, or spending time reading to your children, or lending a beloved title to a friend. It wouldn't entirely surprise me if some of the more enterprising decide this is the week to start writing that long-dreamed-of novel. If so, then best of luck.

Those of us who regularly use libraries will already have received a message inviting us to write a love letter to our favourite library. Intended to show what it is we most appreciate about them, it's a well-timed idea. Readers are asked to address their missives to their library of choice, but personally I would also send a copy to those in charge of council budgets, to remind them of what a priceless asset these repositories of knowledge are - as are their well-trained custodians.

Ten events have been selected by the organisers as particularly worthy of attention. The one I most wish I could attend is on Skye. Dr Kirsten Norrie will be discussing the work of the superb Scottish fairy story teller, George MacDonald, at Sabhal Mor Ostaig Library (Nov 21, 6.30-8.30pm, free, unticketed). MacDonald was a great influence on CS Lewis, Tolkien and, less predictably, GK Chesterton, who said "his novels made a difference to my whole existence". A dark November night is a good time for entering the imagination of this highly-strung clergyman, whose underground goblins were not, one suspects, entirely fictional. Norrie will also be discussing the Gaelic fairy story tradition with Professor Hugh Cheape.

Back on the mainland, in Perth, the works of the poet and diarist William Soutar will be discussed, in Soutar House (Nov 28, 7-8pm, £5), as part of a wider conversation about Scots language and Scottish books. Though much of his writing life was spent confined to bed, like MacDonald, Soutar had a roving and illuminating mind.

There's a three-day children's festival in Eastgate (Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, Nov 25-27, 10am-8pm, free), with writers such as Lari Don, Vivian French and Barry Hutchison, while in Inverness at the Glen Mhor Hotel (Nov 25, 7-8.30pm, free) readers who are itching to switch sides and get onto the writing ladder can grill literary agent and author Allan Guthrie about the best ways to pitch an idea to him and his colleagues.

There is not space to list the other key events in this stellar week of celebrations. Suffice to say that I will raise a glass of prosecco to its success from the heart of Italy, and hereby pledge to spend at least a few hours that week reading good books to honour the occasion. Ciao amici!

For full details of Book Week Scotland's events and projects go to