Road to Reading returns after helping 1 in 2 improve their reading focus last year

Two young women sit in a library laughing together holding copies of 'This Book Kills' and 'Game Over'

The Reading Agency today announced the return of its highly successful Road to Reading initiative as part of the annual World Book Night celebrations. Following its remarkable impact in 2023 when it helped 1 in 2 participants focus more on their reading and improve concentration, the Road to Reading aims to inspire even more people to make reading a regular habit this year.

Perfect for those who are looking for support to start a new habit, people who struggle to find the time, or readers who haven’t picked up a book in a while, the Road to Reading invites everyone to pledge to read every week for 30 minutes or more, for a 10-week period. Participants are invited to join in by signing up and logging their reading.

The Reading Agency hopes that reading lovers will help to sign people up to take part, supporting our mission to get the nation reading! Participants will receive:

  • Regular check-ins and support to establish a consistent reading routine.
  • Personalised reading recommendations tailored to their interests.
  • Support from a vibrant social media community of fellow readers.

The 2023 Road to Reading findings demonstrate the initiative’s significant impact. The Road to Reading supported readers to re-establish a reading habit, with 2 in 5 reporting that it helped them read for enjoyment and out of choice more than before. Most participants felt that they met their personal reading goals set at the start, whether that was reading more regularly, for longer, or exploring new genres through the reading recommendations provided.

By taking part in the Road to Reading:

  • 86% of participants reported feeling more relaxed, with many citing improved overall wellbeing.
  • 73% found added purpose and social connection through the initiative, with 37% feeling more connected by talking about reading in book clubs or with others.
  • 50% increased their confidence to try new things, exploring diverse genres, authors, and formats.

Almost all respondents to the final check-in said that they intended to keep up with their new reading habit going forward, with many setting new goals to read more or read different kinds of books.

“Reading does us all the power of good, but in our busy modern world it’s easy to lose sight of how life-changing this simple habit can be.” said Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency. “Last year’s Road to Reading was a game-changer, supporting thousands in dedicating time to reading and experiencing its numerous benefits, whether new readers or just those who’d fallen out of the habit. The high levels of engagement, personal impacts, and sustained reading habit changes we witnessed last year underscore the vital role Road to Reading plays in building a nation of readers this World Book Night.”

One participant said: “I managed to stick to my goal of 30 minutes a week and found that I was able to read more than this. Some days I was reading up to an hour as I was really enjoying the books I was reading. I suffer from dyslexia so am a bit of slow reader and have found the [Road To Reading] has really boosted my reading confidence.”

Another participant reported increased productivity, saying: “I’ve now got 20 minutes every morning set aside for reading and it’s not only increased my reading it’s also improved my day-to-day life as I feel better and more productive by starting my day the right way.”

To learn more about Road to Reading and sign up for this year’s programme, visit worldbooknight.org.uk. Join the journey and unlock the life-changing benefits of making reading a regular habit.

The Reading Agency and Manchester Libraries team up with CBBC for the Blue Peter Book Club Live

Blue Peter presenter, Abi, lies across an armchair in a green garden holding a book and smiling. She wears a pink t shirt, pink trainers and black dungarees.

Blue Peter, the world’s longest running kids TV show, is partnering with The Reading Agency and Manchester Libraries on an exciting new initiative called Blue Peter Book Club Live. This ambitious project aims to inspire a love of reading and creativity in primary school-aged children across Greater Manchester and throughout the UK.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will engage young readers through a multi-faceted approach involving free activities and events both in and outside of traditional reading spaces. There will be a large-scale Blue Peter Book Club Live event at Manchester Central Library on Saturday 18th  May featuring Blue Peter presenters, authors from the Book Club including Eve Ainsworth and Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho plus a book-inspired art-installation created by 10,000 local school children. Other highlights include a Blue Peter Book Club Live Badge Trail, which will take families to cultural venues across Manchester withactivities themed around the 12 Blue Peter Book Club titles.

Children will also be able to discover the Blue Peter Book Club booklist in unexpected settings as part of a series of “Book Hunt” events in Manchester parks and open spaces. Across the nation, libraries and schools will be able to participate in Blue Peter Book Club Live using activity packs and reading resources developed by The Reading Agency to create a nationwide celebration.

The Blue Peter Book Club introduces young readers to new writing and encourage a love of reading. In partnership with The Reading Agency an expert panel of librarians, booksellers and children in library sessions, chose a list of Blue Peter Book Club recommended reads from awesome authors and fantastic illustrators. Its next six titles are:

  • Greenwild: The World Behind The Door by Pari Thomson, Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Last Firefox by by Lee Newbery, Illustrated by Laura Catalán (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)
  • The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Beast Beyond the Fence by Marcus Rashford written with Alex Falase-Koya, Illustrated by Marta Kissi (Macmillan Children’s Books, Pan Macmillan)
  • You Are History: From the Alarm Clock to the Toilet, the Amazing History of the Things You Use Every Day by Greg Jenner Illustrated by Jenny Taylor (Walker Books, 2022)
  • Major and Mynah by Karen Owen, Illustrated by Louise Forshaw (Firefly Press)
  • Bob vs The Selfie Zombies by Andy Jones, Illustrated by Robin Boyden (Piccadilly Press, Bonnier Books)
Six book jackets: Greenwild, Major and Mynah, Breakfast Club Adventures, Bob vs. The Selfie Zombies and You Are History on a blue background with heart and start sketches and the Blue Peter Book Club logo in the middle.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will have a major presence on broadcast and digital. A special episode Blue Peter Book Club Live will be shown on CBBC and iPlayer, 5pm, Friday 24th May from Media City UK with authors and local school children taking part.  Working in collaboration with BBC Arts, Blue Peter will also produce book review content, animations, digital games and more.  While to support young readers learning at home and in the classroom, the Blue Peter Book Club is supported by curriculum resources from BBC Bitesize.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will take place into Summer 2024 with a series of pop-up events at libraries and schools across the UK. More details can be found on the Library Live website.

The Blue Peter Big Read is supported with an award of £99,385 through Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme.

We’re thrilled to harness the power of the Blue Peter brand to inspire children to read for pleasure. By meeting them in their communities through our partnership with Manchester Libraries and The Reading Agency’s nationwide reach, we aim to make reading feel fun, accessible and relevant to all kids.

Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Commissioning 7+

This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to connect families with the vital resources of their local libraries. The Blue Peter Book Club’s diverse and accessible booklist, created with The Reading Agency, ensures that all children can see themselves represented and participate.

Karen Napier MBE, CEO, The Reading Agency

We are delighted to work alongside our partners to bring such an exciting reading event to the city.  We know that reading is a joyous experience and getting young Mancunians engaged, excited and inspired by books now is really important to us as it will engender a love of reading that continues to grow throughout their lives.  And what better place to launch such a wonderful initiative as the much-loved and celebrated Manchester Central Library.

Neil Mac Innes OBE, Manchester City Council’s Head of Service, Libraries, Galleries, Culture and Youth

Enabling children and young people to enjoy creative and culture experiences is a priority for the Arts Council and The Blue Peter Book Club Live is a great opportunity for them to discover the joy of reading in their local community. I’m pleased that we are supporting the project through our National Lottery Project Grants programme to fund some exciting activities for families across Manchester and I’m really looking forward to attending the celebration event at Manchester Central Library.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

Publishers invited to The Reading Agency Insights events to tackle big health challenges through reading

The Reading Agency is hosting a series of free online events for publishers, sharing insights and data from ten years of Reading Well book selection and co-production work. The sessions will demonstrate the power of books and reading to support health and wellbeing, offering new insights to add value to health publishing.

Launching on 30 April, the first of three Reading Agency Insights events will provide publishers with crucial consumer data, learning and expertise to help address the current UK health challenges. The series is part of a wider Reading Well development programme funded by Arts Council England.

Mental health services in England received a record 4.6 million referrals during 2022, up 22% from 2019 according to the BMA. Children and young people’s mental health is in crisis, with over 1.4m children estimated to have a mental health disorder (The King’s Fund).  Publishers, reading, and libraries are part of the solution, adding value to health service provision by building public understanding and confidence in health management through quality-assured, authentic and helpful reading; 81% of people surveyed say their Reading Well book helped them to understand more about their health needs.

The first online event will feature contributions from leading experts Professor Martin Marshall CBE, Chair of the Nuffield Trust, and former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as NHS GP and media personality, Dr Radha Modgil. Attendees will hear new data about reader needs, evidence on what works best in publishing, and what makes health information books more accessible and inclusive. With over ten years of consumer insight data to draw on, The Reading Agency will also share knowledge about gaps in health publishing linked to unmet reader need, along with reader insights on books with strong themes relating to mental and physical health, including fiction titles and memoirs. Future events in the series will focus on children’s and adult mental health and dementia.

“This events series provides a unique opportunity for publishers to access crucial data and insights direct from readers and experts. Working together, we can ensure books meet the needs of readers facing health challenges and help tackle the current crisis.”

Following the first event in April, two further events will take place in June focusing specifically on children’s and adult mental health.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency

All publishers are invited to attend. To register:

  • The Reading Agency Insights: Tackling Big Health Challenges Together, 30th April, 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space 
  • The Reading Agency Insights: Supporting Young Minds, 5th June 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space  
  • The Reading Agency Insights: Improving Adult Health, 25th June 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space  

The Summer Reading Challenge’s ‘Marvellous Makers’ theme celebrates children’s creativity 

Graphic with illustrated children on grass. Text reads: Summer Reading Challenge 2024 delivered in partnership with libraries - Marvellous Makers.

The Reading Agency is excited to announce the theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge: Marvellous Makers! Developed in partnership with Create, a leading charity bringing the creative arts to those who need it most, this year’s Challenge aims to fire up children’s imaginations and unleash storytelling and creativity through the power of reading.  

The annual Challenge is delivered in partnership with public libraries, and it’s free to take part. From June to September, children taking part in ‘Marvellous Makers’ can discover new stories, join in with free activities at the library, and explore their creativity – from junk modelling to music, dance to drawing and painting. 

This year’s bespoke illustrations are created by Natelle Quek, celebrated illustrator of titles including Wild Wild Wood (Puffin Books) and I Am Nefertiti (Five Quills). Taking place in libraries and online, the Summer Reading Challenge provides the perfect opportunity for active minds to explore, imagine, and create in a supportive and engaging environment. 

Reading sparks imagination and creativity, helping to expose children to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences that fire up their minds. The Summer Reading Challenge aims to harness these creative thinking skills and build confidence in young readers during the school holiday when they aren’t in the classroom. Participation encourages children to read for pleasure, with books providing knowledge and giving children the tools and confidence to think originally, play with concepts, and express their creativity in unique ways. 

This year’s ‘Marvellous Makers’ theme will inspire children’s inner storytellers, motivating them to be curious and to tell their own stories through various creative outlets. The partnership with Create aims to allow children to understand and appreciate creativity through reading. The partnership will provide a range of exciting activities and resources that bring reading and creativity together, empowering children to become ‘Marvellous Makers’ themselves.  

“The Summer Reading Challenge is all about inspiring children’s creativity and imagination through reading. Developed in partnership with the fantastic charity Create, this year’s theme will spark children’s inner storytellers and makers. Reading fires up young minds, and we’re thrilled to provide a fun, engaging environment for children to explore new ideas and perspectives through books and creative activities over the summer holidays. We are delighted to be working with Blue Peter to encourage even more children to take part this year.”

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency

“This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to bring creativity to young people across the country. People need to create, and everyone deserves access to the life-enhancing power of the creative arts. ‘Marvellous Makers’ brilliantly combines the joy of reading and the wonder of creativity, providing young people with new opportunities to express themselves. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of it.” 

Nicky Goulder, Founding CEO of Create

Blue Peter will also be encouraging primary school children across the UK to join this year’s Summer Reading challenge on CBBC and iPlayer with creative activities and features from the Blue Peter Book Club. 

The Summer Reading Challenge launches on 22 June in Scotland and online and 6 July in England and Wales.  

Paul Kelly succeeds Matthew Littleford MBE as The Reading Agency’s Chair of the Board

The Reading Agency today announced that Paul Kelly has been appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Reading Agency. He succeeds Matthew Littleford MBE, whose term as Chair ended after serving since 2018.   

Paul has been a member of The Reading Agency’s Board of Trustees since 2018 and has served as Vice-Chair since last year. He is the global CEO of DK, the world’s leading illustrated non-fiction publisher, which is part of Penguin Random House group. Paul has an incredible breadth of experience in UK and international publishing having previously served as President at DK US and Commercial and Strategy Director for Penguin Random House UK.  

“I have always been inspired by The Reading Agency’s innovative approach to promoting reading for pleasure and the incredible impact they have on so many lives. This brilliant organisation has gone fromstrength to strength under Matthew’s tenure, reaching over 2 million people last year, and encouraging 139,000 children and families to join the local library. I am humbled and honored to be taking over the vital role of Chair for The Reading Agency and working even more closely with CEO, Karen Napier, and her talented team. I look forward to using this position to help facilitate the charity’s immense potential to reach more people and leverage the power of reading to transform more lives than ever before.” 

Matthew Littleford, who stood down as Chair on the 1 February, was formerly Joint Managing Director of Betty, one of the UK’s leading TV production companies where he was responsible for running the business, editorial strategy, people and culture, business affairs and production management. He was also the Editorial Director for Digital at BBC Worldwide, leading, creating and delivering the editorial proposition across their portfolio of brands and platforms. 

During his tenure, Matthew provided invaluable leadership and guidance that helped The Reading Agency fulfill its mission to empower people of all ages to read. Some of the many key achievements under his chairmanship include expanding the reach of reading programmes like Reading Friends and Reading Well to vulnerable and underserved communities across the country, launching innovative digital reading initiatives to support early years reading like the Summer Reading Challenge online platform, and supporting the organisation to forge new relationships with charity, corporate and public sector partners to support literacy programs across the UK. 

“After six inspiring years, I would like to say thank you to The Reading Agency team, our brilliant library partners, and Arts Council England, for working with us to get more people across the UK reading. It has been a privilege to help Karen lead this innovative organisation during what have been challenging years for many and championing the proven power of reading. I wish Paul Kelly every success as the organisation’s new Chair and will continue to champion The Reading Agency’s work from the sidelines.” 

Matthew Littleford

“On behalf of The Reading Agency, I want to thank Matthew for his many years of exceptional service on our Board, Matthew’s passion for promoting reading and creativity has helped strengthen our organsation and enabled us to transform thousands of lives through the power of reading. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors. We are delighted to welcome Paul Kelly as our new Chair. His commitment to and expertise in reading for pleasure will be a real asset as we work towards getting more people across the country reading.” 

Karen Napier, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency.

“The Arts Council strongly believes in the importance of reading for pleasure and we’re proud to support The Reading Agency in its mission to empower people of all ages to read. Over the last six years, Matthew Littleford has led The Reading Agency to achieve a number of significant milestones, particularly around its reading programmes and Summer Reading Challenge, and we wish him well for his future. And we look forward to working with Paul Kelly and the whole team on the continuation of their vital work.” 

Sarah Crown, Director Literature, Arts Council England

The Reading Agency welcomes Baroness Sanderson’s Public Libraries Review

The Reading Agency welcomes the publication of Baroness Sanderson’s review of public libraries today.

We strongly support the report’s affirmation of the value of public libraries. Public libraries are much valued partners of the Reading Agency and work with us to promote the power of reading through national programmes and activities that change lives and communities. Libraries are true community anchor organisations, providing a treasure trove of books and reading resources, but also serving as hubs for learning and discovery, providing free access to information support for health and wellbeing and hosting events and activities that bring people together.

We know that people do not have an equal start in life, and that libraries empower people with knowledge and possibilities for growth, especially those struggling with inequality and disadvantage. We commend Baroness Sanderson and her team for acknowledging the importance of fortifying the public library offer through this report.

Supporting our mission to deliver evidence-led practice, we undertake extensive research and evaluation including a recent review of a new cross-authority approach to delivering the annual Summer Reading Challenge. The Reading Agency believes that centralising data and improving data sharing across library authorities is key to delivering the power of reading to underserved communities.

We particularly welcome the recommendation to offer automatic enrolment to children across the UK, many of whom access the power of reading for the first time through public libraries. Through our 2023 Summer Reading Challenge, we saw an increase of 45% in library card uptake among participants. This clearly highlights the value of automatic library membership in increasing access to the life-changing benefits of reading through the Summer Reading Challenge and other early years reading initiatives.

We welcome Lord Parkinson’s commitment to developing cross-government approaches which connect government departments around common aims and support the vital work that libraries do.

The Reading Agency looks forward to seeing these proposals come to life through the delivery of the Government’s forthcoming public libraries strategy. We will continue to work closely with our library partners to support people to create social connections, improve their skills and manage their health and wellbeing through the proven power of reading.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: “Libraries open doors for people of all ages and backgrounds by providing free access to books, information, and opportunities that enrich lives. As a proud partner to libraries across the UK, we know firsthand the power of the public library to empower communities and change lives for the better. We applaud the research, consultation and thought that have gone into Baroness Sanderson’s report and we look forward to these measures, particularly automatic library enrolment for children, being brought forward to strengthen and modernise our vital public library network.”

The Reading Agency announces Quick Reads will be gifted for World Book Night 2024

The Reading Agency has today announced that copies of the six upcoming Quick Reads 2024 titles will be gifted for World Book Night 2024. 

Taking place on 23 April 2024, World Book Night is aiming to create a nation of readers, with libraries across the UK applying to receive copies of life-changing Quick Reads titles to give away in partnership with local organisations.

This year’s Quick Reads titles feature 6 newly published Quick Reads from leading authors including Kia Abdullah, Malorie Blackman, Matt Cain, Kit de Waal, Jo Nesbo and Karen Swan. Quick Reads aim to bring the joy and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in six adults in the UK who struggle to read. 

Publishing on 11 April, ahead of the celebrations when the books go on sale across the UK, the 36,000 copies of the 2024 Quick Reads will be gifted through libraries to reach emerging and lapsed readers in settings such as hospitals, prisons, care homes and shelters in the community. The giveaway forms a key part of The Reading Agency’s mission to tackle the adult literacy crisis and provide easy access to shorter, high-quality reads for free to help foster a love of books and reading. 

In 2024, the wider public is invited to get involved in spreading the power of reading by joining in the World Book Night #ReadingHour from 7pm on the day, when they can dedicate a moment to reading and books. The Reading Agency will also be launching a public fundraiser to bring the power of reading to even more people through its targeted programmes and initiatives. 

“We are delighted to be gifting 36,000 copies of our brilliant new Quick Reads titles on World Book Night to help spread the joy of reading. Together, we can create a nation of readers by getting these books into the hands of people across the UK and helping them to discover the proven power of reading to entertain, connect and transform lives.” 

Karen Napier, CEO at The Reading Agency

The full line-up of 2024 Quick Read titles to be gifted are:

  • Kia Abdullah, Those People Next Door (abridged) (HQ, HarperCollins)
  • Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry (abridged) (Penguin, Penguin Random House)
  • Matt Cain, Game On (Headline, Hachette)
  • Kit de Waal, Without Warning and Only Sometimes (abridged) (Headline, Hachette)
  • Jo Nesbo, The Jealousy Man (previously published in 2021 short story collection) (Vintage, Penguin Random House)
  • Karen Swan, The Last Summer (abridged) (Pan Macmillan)

Libraries can find out how to sign up to receive books by visiting: www.worldbooknight.org

The Reading Agency launches call for submissions for Quick Reads 2025

The Reading Agency is pleased to announce that it is seeking publisher submissions for consideration for its life-changing 2025 Quick Reads programme.

Quick Reads are short, high-quality books that engage adult readers who lack reading confidence or have fallen out of the reading habit. They play a key role in getting the nation to read, especially those who find reading challenging. The challenge we face today is that one in three adults do not regularly read for pleasure and one in six adults find reading difficult. The titles are written by popular authors using accessible language and plots. And it works; over 5.3 million Quick Reads titles have been distributed since the program began in 2006.

This year, in addition to working with our existing publishing partners, The Reading Agency is also actively seeking submissions from SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) and independent publishers. This new development has been made possible with funding support from The Foyle Foundation. It will enable smaller independent publishers to take part in the programme for the first time by helping to remove some of the barriers that often prevent them from participating.

The final selection for Quick Reads 2025 will be made by a panel of experts including public and prison librarians, further education and workplace representatives, retailers and literacy experts. They will be looking for a range of genres, an inclusive and diverse mix of new and established voices but most importantly, great stories and content. All selected titles will be published and sold for £1 a copy, helping to make sure the books get into the hands of those that need them most in line with The Reading Agency’s mission to get everyone reading. Quick Reads are perfect for boosting reading skills, confidence and engagement. They can act as an entry point to different authors’ work in diverse genres, and have led to thousands of adults reading, completing, and enjoying a book for the first time.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency says: “We want to showcase new stories from diverse voices and broaden the reach and appeal of Quick Reads. This is an exciting opportunity for all publishers, whatever their size, to widen their audience and support our mission of engaging new readers across the UK. We are also immensely grateful to our core funders, Hachette, and Penguin Random House for continuing to support this vital programme and to the Foyle Foundation for helping us to diversify our publisher partners in 2025.”

The deadline for submissions is 19 January 2024. Interested publishers can find more details and apply via The Reading Agency’s website, where they can find guidance on writing for emerging readers and information about Quick Reads and its audiences.

Publishers of all sizes who are passionate about literacy and widening participation in reading are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration. We ask larger publishers to cover some associated costs such as author advance, printing and production as part of their literacy strategy and CSR mission.

For more information or to discuss a submission, please contact Emma House at [email protected].

The Reading Agency and the Youth Sport Trust invite children on a winter reading adventure

The Reading Agency has today announced that they are teaming up with the Youth Sport Trust again for this year’s Winter Mini Challenge, a free reading adventure. The Challenge encourages children to keep up their reading over the winter holidays and offers rewards and prizes for continuing to read.

Following the success of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, the Winter Mini Challenge will continue to follow the Ready, Set, Read! theme throughout the winter. By taking part online via the Challenge website, children will be able to join this year’s six characters as they head out to have fun on a winter walk.

The characters, illustrated by Loretta Schauer, will get children fired up about games, sport and play, with the Ready, Set, Read! theme of the Challenge aiming to keep children’s minds and bodies active over the winter holiday. Children can log their reads and share reviews on the digital platform and earn rewards for their reading, with many public libraries across the UK offering events and activities which tie into the theme.

During the school holidays, some children experience a ‘dip’ in their reading skills. The Winter Mini Challenge is on a mission to change this by providing a way for children to keep reading for enjoyment outside the classroom. Accompanying resources which can be downloaded through the digital platform will help families and teachers to provide free and fun activities over the holiday.

The Winter Mini Challenge will launch on 1 December and run until 19 February.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: “We saw a fantastic response to this year’s sport and games themed Summer Reading Challenge, showing that reading goes hand-in-hand with play in helping children to explore their creativity. We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with the Youth Sport Trust for this year’s Winter Mini Challenge and hope we’ll fire up the imaginations of children across the country.”

Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust: “Following the success of the Summer Reading Challenge, we are delighted to be partnering with the Reading Agency once again on this year’s Winter Mini Challenge! The cold weather and early evenings over the winter can make getting active outdoors challenging, but we hope children and young will be inspired by the games, sport and play themed books selected as part of the Ready, Set, Read Challenge to keep active over the winter holiday.

We know active children are happier, healthier and can even achieve more in the classroom. The Winter Mini Challenge is a brilliant way to inspire children over the winter to keep both minds and bodies active.”

Visit www.wintermini.org.uk for more information.
Follow the latest developments on social media:
@ReadingAgency
#WinterMiniChallenge

For all media enquiries contact [email protected] or call +44(0)7458 303703.

The Reading Agency reveals inspiring line-up of authors for the life-changing Quick Reads programme

Kia Abdullah | Malorie Blackman | Matt Cain | Kit de Waal | Jo Nesbo | Karen Swan

The Reading Agency has announced the six best-selling authors championing Quick Reads for 2024. They are Kia Abdullah, Malorie Blackman, Matt Cain, Kit de Waal, Jo Nesbo and Karen Swan.

Publishing on 11 April 2024 and reflecting the very best contemporary writing, the new collection of Quick Reads incudes a mix of original and specially abridged titles including a suspenseful, court room page turner by thriller fiction star Kia Abdullah (Those People Next Door, HQ, HarperCollins); a hard-hitting emotional tale of teenage fatherhood from multi-award-winning Malorie Blackman (Boys Don’t Cry, Penguin, Penguin Random House UK Children’s); a joyful and surprising tale about love, friendship and football from broadcaster and LGBTQ+ advocate Matt Cain (Game On, Headline, Hachette); Kit de Waal’s vibrant and unforgettable memoir of how books saved her life (Without Warning and Only Sometimes, Headline, Hachette); a dangerously dark thriller from global, fan favourite Jo Nesbo (The Jealousy Man, Vintage, Penguin Random House); and an epic, spellbinding historical romance set against the backdrop of untamed beauty of St Kilda in 1930s high society from Sunday Times bestseller Karen Swan (The Last Summer, Pan Macmillan).

Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing the UK’s adult literacy crisis, engaging the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults who find reading difficult. Since the programme launched in 2006, over 5.3 million Quick Reads have been distributed with over 6.14 million registered library loans.

The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals, and adult learning organisations.

The six titles announced today will also be gifted as part of World Book Night 2024, The Reading Agency’s annual drive to create a nation of readers. With the support of this year’s publishers, copies of the books will be given away to organisations including care homes, youth centres, homelessness centre, prisons, hospitals and other organisations through public library partners.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: ‘We are incredibly excited as we unveil the remarkable line-up of authors collaborating with Quick Reads to publish a bitesize book for 2024 – and we thank them and all the publishers for their support to this life-changing programme. We would also like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Jojo Moyes for the generous donation in 2020-2022 which helped to shape the future of the initiative. This year we are proudly supported by Penguin Random House and Hachette who have contributed funding to the programme. We will be celebrating Quick Reads as part of World Book Night 2024 in our continued mission to bring high quality, fun and accessible books to a wider audience to discover the transformative power of reading.’

The Reading Agency

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