A BIG-HEARTED teenager is sharing his love of books with the world with an innovative novel hiding challenge across the area.

Grant McTaggart, 18, has additional support needs and attends Lockhart Campus in Stevenson however that has not stopped him from being a key part of the community.

The West Kilbride youngster's ‘look for a book’ scheme started back in 2019 and after a break during the pandemic, Grant and his mum Elaine are travelling far and wide to hide books for people young and old to find.

Elaine explained: “This all started when Grant found a book amongst some flowers at Tesco in Kilmarnock, from a group who has started something similar in the town.

“He was absolutely buzzing and I thought the concept was great, and Grant thought the same.

“We collect books we think people would love, bag them up in weatherproof pouches and hide them around West Kilbride, Largs and the three towns.

“Grant can’t speak, write or read, but he just loves books, so wanted other people to have that same feeling."

Elaine says the response has been amazing, with adults even getting involved and starting to sharing their own titles.

She said: “It has been going really well since we restarted it, kids are loving it and people are engaging with the idea.

“The primary school in West Kilbride and the Brownie group have been heavily involved in hunting for the books.

“The idea is that a child can find and read it, and then they can bag it up again and leave it for someone else to find.

“They should pop a space on the back of the note for the child who finds the book to write down where they found it so everyone can see how far the book travels.

“Pre-Covid we had started to find books for adults that people were leaving, which was really nice to see as well.”

Elaine says the pair have big plans for the summer, and hope to grow the scheme to hide hundreds of titles all across the local area.

She added: “We have hidden around 50 books in the past two weeks and want to keep growing that number over the next few months.

“With libraries closing down and rising social isolation, it is a nice community thing.

“All you need are a few robust freezer bags and any old or unwanted books to share some joy."