Reading Ahead is the new name for the Six Book Challenge.
For over 20 years Brian was a full-time carer to his late brother. He now goes to classes twice a week run by Derbyshire County Council Adult Community Education Service to do Maths and English where his tutor Alison Rodger calls him 'a real success story'.
Brian tells us about his experience of being part of the Six Book Challenge
"After my brother died I started looking for work, and went on a programme for people who were out of work. It was there that I was told about classes at the the Shirebrook Adult Education Centre and asked if I'd like to go. I've never looked back. I have a good time going to classes and I've improved my maths and my spelling, which is really important to me. If you go anywhere and you have to fill in a form and you can't read or write properly, you're stuck, aren't you?
"It was my tutor Alison who first told our English class about the Six Book Challenge, and I thought I'd give it a go. I read a lot of the Quick Reads books - they are not too long but just the right length. My two favourite books for the Challenge were both stories that I had already seen on television - The Railway Children and Count Dracula.
"In fact I've now read a lot more than six books, I've read over 26! I take a book home from college each week. I live on my own and often I don't see many people, so reading helps me not to feel depressed or fed up. It takes my mind off things, and helps me relax. I might read early in the morning, then put my book aside and come back to it later.
"I enjoyed keeping a diary of the books I'd read for the Six Book Challenge, and getting it stamped. Alison took us to the library - I wasn't a member beforehand but I became one and took out some books.
"Two of us from my class have completed the Six Book Challenge so far. We got our certificates at college and Alison took a photo of us with them. I felt really proud of myself; I've put it in a folder with the other certificates I've got from my college classes, and looking at the folder makes me feel like I've achieved something - that I've really got something to show for the two years I've been going to classes at college.
"I didn't read much before but I am going to keep going to classes, keep reading and keep going to the library to get books out.
Brian's top tip
My top tip would be to recommend people choose books about a subject they can relate to and always check out the blurb on the back of the book. I also found that I had a tendency to read for too long and my eyes became strained and uncomfortable. This challenge has shown me how long I can comfortably read for. There's nothing wrong in putting the book down for a while and coming back to it later, when your eyes are rested."
Find out more about Reading Ahead
Order materials to run Reading Ahead at your organisation.