One in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. People's reasons for not reading are varied: some people say they find books intimidating, that they struggle to find the time or that books are difficult or boring.
Quick Reads sets out to challenge these beliefs and to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year we commission big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in most respects but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The books are then sold through major retailers and online booksellers, or loaned from libraries.
Quick Reads is making real, lasting changes to people's lives. Since 2006,4.5 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 3 million library loans have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. Quick Reads is a unique collaboration and we are very grateful for the support of everyone involved.
This year's Galaxy® Quick Reads 2017 authors and titles, available from Thursday 2 February, are:
• Dead Simple crime anthology (Orion) - a crime collection bringing together eight writers including Harry Bingham, Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, James Oswald, CL Taylor, Angela Marsons, Jane Casey and Antonia Hodgson.
• Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman (Ebury) - a road trip novel about four people who meet online and drive to Cornwall to the Poldark set to find Aiden Turner. Coleman, who is dyslexic herself, is the bestselling novelist of The Memory Book and We Are All Made of Stars.
• A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan (Little Brown) - a romantic novel set on a remote Scottish island, where a Syrian refugee goes to work as a doctor. The small community welcome him but can he forget his past? Colgan is the bestselling author of The Little Beach Street Bakery.
• The Other Side of You by Amanda Craig (Little Brown) - a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast, set in London. Amanda has written a number of very well-reviewed novels including Hearts and Minds and A Vicious Circle.
• Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers (Ebury) - a specially adapted book drawing on the late Susan Jeffers' landmark self-help book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway and its bestselling follow ups.
• One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell (Hodder) - a gritty novel set on the Devil's Estate in London, the same setting as her recent Flesh and Blood trilogy.
Quick Reads are available from libraries and bookshops across the country.
Ideas for using Quick Reads
- Hold a reading break or start a reading group in your workplace, college, library or local community. You can create a buzz about reading that will encourage even the most reluctant readers to pick up a good book.
- Set up a reading area at your organisation. You can provide a bookcase and a reading area if you have room. Use new books or ask people to donate their books.
- Use Quick Reads as part of Reading Ahead, which challenges people to pick six reads and record their reading in a diary to get a certificate.
- Hold a book swap by encouraging people to bring in books they have read and enjoyed to share with others. You ask people to write reviews or put stickers in the front of the books for people to write comments.
You can find learning resources for all of the 2017 titles in the resources database.