A Chapter A Day: Tips to help you keep reading

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This World Book Night we want to get people across the country involved in celebrating and sharing the joy of reading.

We know that it can be hard to avoid electronic distractions, even if you’re an experienced reader. From our survey conducted for World Book Night 2019, we know that many people would like to read more. Two thirds (66%) of those surveyed said they would spend more time reading if they spent less time scrolling on their smartphones.

We have launched A Chapter A Day, a campaign that encourages people across the UK to rebuild their reading habits. We’ve already given you some tips to get started on your reading journey, and now we have some more to help you build up your reading, to the point where you’re reading a chapter each day.

• Build your reading up gradually
Set yourself realistic goals for your reading and build up the pages you read over time. Don’t feel like you must go from zero to reading hero overnight! If you go gradually, trying to add a page or two more each day, you may find that by the end of the two weeks you’re reading a chapter a day, almost without noticing how far you have progressed.

• Using your phone to read
If you are tied to your smartphone, why not try e-books? There are plenty of e-reader apps for your smartphone if you don’t have a Kindle. Don’t be afraid of using your phone as a reading tool!

• Join a reading group
Talking about your latest read with a book group is a great way to discover interpretations of a book you might never have thought of before. Book groups are also good for forging new relationships around reading or bolstering existing ones. You can find a local reading group on our Reading Groups for Everyone site, or read our tips on how to set up your own.

• Try reading aloud
You can do this by yourself with a friend, partner or child. Reading aloud will encourage you to slow down the process of reading and really take pleasure in the story and words- it’s a great way to appreciate the language of a book as well as the story.

Dr Sam Duncan from the UCL Institute of Education is involved in researching the benefits of reading aloud. She says reading with others can bring “escapism, motivation and stimulation.”

• Pat yourself on the back
Wherever you are by the end of two weeks, whether you’re at a page, a few pages, a chapter a day or more, you should feel proud of your progress. The really great thing about reading is that the world of books is so rich and diverse, that once you’ve made a start you will never be bored. Let us know how your reading journey is going on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – and share your tips to inspire other readers to stop scrolling and start reading! You can also leave reviews of your favourite books on our website.

A Chapter A Day: Short stories and poems to build a reading habit

This World Book Night, we are more aware than ever before that the constant distractions in our 21st century world are preventing people from reading as much as they would like to.

This is why we are launching A Chapter A Day, a challenge which encourages the nation to make time to read a few pages of a book every day, building up to one, or a few chapters. We hope that the challenge will help people across the UK get back into the reading habit.

We know that getting started with anything can be the hardest bit. So in addition to our World Book Night booklist, we have twelve recommendations of short stories and poetry aimed at anyone looking to read something quick and fun, perhaps on the commute to and from work. Let us know how you are enjoying the books, and tell us your own recommendations, via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Cut Off by Mark Billingham
A woman’s life takes a sinister turn after she loses her phone in this Quick Read.

The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton
A stranger arrives in sunny Cornwall in need of a safe haven. It’s not long before he’s helping some of the villagers find the answers to their own problems. In return, they find a place for him in their hearts.

Clean Break by Tammy Cohen
A dark and twisty portrait of a marriage coming to its bitter end by the bestselling crime writer.

Inspector Chopra and the Million-Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan
Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick have two days to solve the mystery of a missing – and very costly – car.

The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson
Tessa is thrilled when her daughter arrives in Ghana to get married, but memories of the last time she was there haunt her.

Six Foot Six by Kit de Waal
Everything changes for Timothy, a 21 year-old with learning difficulties, when local builder Charlie calls on him for help.

Rhythm and Poetry by Karl Nova
This collection reflects on the author’s journey of growth from childhood to adulthood through the lens of Hip Hop culture.

A Change Is Gonna Come by Various
An anthology of stories and poetry on the theme of change featuring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers for Young Adults.

The Last Hedgehog by Pam Ayres
A hilarious and thought-provoking elegy to that most beloved inhabitant of the British countryside, the common hedgehog.

Heaven on Earth: 101 Happy Poems by Wendy Cope
A collection of poems which is unashamedly happy: on love, places, the beauty of the natural world, music, food and drink and books.

Miss Marple: the Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple uses her unique insight to deduce the truth about a series of unsolved crimes.

Different Seasons by Stephen King
In this classic collection of four novellas, King takes you on irresistible journeys into the far reaches of horror, heartache and hope.

Get involved

Check out the 23 titles on our World Book Night list for 2019

Find out more about our campaign to get the nation reading

A Chapter A Day: Tips to get started with reading

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This World Book Night we want to get people across the country involved in celebrating and sharing the joy of reading – whether you read a lot or infrequently.

We know that finding time in a busy schedule for reading can be hard – we’re all working, studying, caring for others or just rushing around trying to get everything done. So here are some tips to help you get into the habit. Before you know it, you won’t be able to stop reading!

Talk to a librarian

Your local library is a treasure trove of all kinds of books, from classic fiction to the latest releases, cookbooks and titles to help you understand and manage your health. But the greatest resource of all is the librarian. These are the people who can advise you where to start- they have a wealth of knowledge, because after all they have spent their lives around books!

Try short stories, poems or Quick Reads

Short stories are great ways of making progress, without feeling intimidated by hundreds of pages in front of you. Some of the best are less than ten pages long, so you can dip in and out when you have five minutes spare. Poems are often quick to read, too, but phrases and rhymes will stay in your head for a lot longer. And why not try one of our Quick Reads? You may find, like Monica, that these can be finished in a few trips to and from work.

Find a quiet corner

This is important! It’s hard to concentrate on taking in the words on a page when there’s noise all around you, so try to make time – perhaps in the evenings or at weekends – to find a quiet corner in which to read. A comfy chair will help, or you could find a spot in your local library. If you’re reading on your way to or from work, listen to some relaxing music to block out the outside world and help you focus. You could also try an audiobook.

Establish your routine

If you can get into a pattern with your reading – for example ten minutes before bed or a few pages at lunch – you should find it easier to stick to. Plus, you will feel encouraged as day by day you see yourself making progress through your book.

Keep a reading diary

Hopefully you’ve come to the end of your poem or short story and found you enjoyed it so much that you would like to remember it in the months and years to come. You could write down your thoughts about reading, as participants in Reading Ahead do. It’s always interesting to look back in time and see what you were reading at the same point last month or year – and you’ll see just how far you have come in a short space of time.

Living in a Notification Nation: the distractions that prevent us from picking up a book

23 April 2019: Our new survey to mark World Book Night, our annual celebration of books and reading, has revealed that smartphone habits are preventing us from reading books. 66% saying that they would read more if they spent less time scrolling. 55% of all adults and 72% of young people admit they lack sufficient self-control because they can’t help but continue to check their smartphone when they could be reading, showing we exist in a Notification Nation.

With the number of pressures and distractions we face, it’s no surprise that we don’t have the energy to read. 31% of respondents said constant notifications on their phone stop them reading, while the same number are distracted by boxset bingeing. Other reasons cited include home pressures such as looking after children or housework.

Debbie Hicks, Creative Director at The Reading Agency, said:

“Smartphones can help us connect with others and learn more about the world around us. But this survey shows that many of us struggle to switch off and that this can take a toll on our wellbeing. Reading is the perfect way to disconnect. This doesn’t mean abandoning your smartphone – there are lots of brilliant audiobooks and ebooks that can help you escape into another world.”

With one in four admitting they spend at least one day a week scrolling through social media apps and the internet, it’s not surprising to learn that some respondents admit to feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘frustrated’. However, the survey shows social media has the power to make people feel connected, with 34% citing that as a key feeling they experience post-scrolling.

Previous studies have shown that people who read regularly report fewer feelings of stress than non-readers, and experience stronger feelings of relaxation than from watching television or engaging with technology-intensive activities.

A Chapter A Day

This World Book Night, we are launching A Chapter A Day, a challenge which encourages the nation to make time to read a few pages of a book every day, building up to one, or a few chapters. We hope that the challenge will help people across the UK get back into the reading habit.

Debbie Hicks continued:

“A Chapter A Day aims to help people either get into reading, or get back into reading and it’s about finding ways to switch off from the distractions of daily life – from smartphone notifications to the TV – when you want to read.”

Get involved

Find out how to take part in A Chapter A Day and access reading tips here

Share what you’re up on Twitter using #WorldBookNight

See the 23 books donated by publishers for this year’s World Book Night

How reading helps our World Book Night authors relax

This World Book Night, we are encouraging the whole country to replace scrolling on their smartphones with reading. We have launched A Chapter A Day, a challenge encouraging the nation to read a few pages of a book every day, and here some of our brilliant World Book Night authors share their experiences of how reading helps them to find peace in our fast-paced world.

Andy Weir, author of The Martian

“Once you start doing something that requires more concentration and slower, more deliberate thought, your brain will calm down on its own.”

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Jess Kidd, author of Himself

“I love reader recommendations. There are some amazing book bloggers online sharing their enthusiasm for all kinds of books. They are everyday people who love reading and their reviews put me onto writers I haven’t tried yet.”

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Mahsuda Snaith, author of The Things We Thought We Knew

“Any book that grips you so that you want to keep on turning the pages will help you regain focus and clarity. The beautiful thing about reading is that it helps you connect with something bigger than you while allowing you to feel less alone. It is pure magic and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from a bit of that in their lives.”

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Marina Cantacuzino, author of The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age

“About 10 years ago I started having trouble sleeping. It was making me anxious and I felt completely exhausted in the morning. Then I discovered audiobooks and found they had a wonderfully hypnotic and relaxing effect. As I rested my head on the pillow I was able to fall asleep within the first 20 minutes of being read to.”

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Mel Darbon, author of Rosie Loves Jack

“Immersing myself in a novel never fails to inspire me and help me to focus again, as it completely removes me from the outside world and cuts out all the noise. My best piece of advice is to first of all switch the phone off and sit down in a quiet space. Then imagine all the information overload of the day is being packaged away into a box. Fill it up with everything you want to get rid of to be able to focus again… After this, pick up a book.”

Tony Parsons, author of Juliet, Naked

“The important to remember about books is simply this – they should be fun.”

Get involved

Find out more about the 23 books donated by publishers that are being given away this World Book Night.

See how our tips to start and keep reading could help you build up to a chapter a day and more.

World Book Night: A Chapter A Day

Have you ever felt like you really want to get stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to pick up for months–but for some reason you can never quite get around to sitting down to read? There always seems to be a distraction in our 21st century world, whether it’s the glare of the television in the evening, that new box-set waiting for your day off or the buzz of an electronic device in your pocket.

If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. In a survey conducted to mark World Book Night 2019, the annual national celebration of reading and books run by The Reading Agency, two thirds of respondents said they would read more if they spent less time scrolling on their phones. 72% of the young people surveyed said they find it difficult to stop checking their phones while they read.

This is why this World Book Night we are launching a new campaign, A Chapter A Day, designed to help our ‘Notification Nation’ find ways to read a few pages every day, building up to a chapter a day and more.

Tips and resources

On this page you can find lots of resources to inspire your reading journey. Take a look at our tips on how to get started with reading and, once you’re up and running, how to progress to a chapter a day and beyond.

We have two booklists: one is made up of shorter books, including Quick Reads while the other contains the list of World Book Night 2019 titles.

Last but not least, some of our brilliant World Book Night authors have shared their experiences of how reading helps them relax.

Get involved

Visit the World Book Night website to find out about events going on across the country

Explore more booklists, including the World Book Night list, on our Reading Groups for Everyone website

The Reading Agency

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