Photo of five teenagers sat on a sofa reading various copies of Quick Reads books

What are Quick Reads?

Discover the joy of reading with Quick Reads. Short books and great stories by bestselling authors!  
 
Quick Reads provide a route into reading that prioritises great story telling and adult-focused content while ensuring the books are written in an accessible and easy to read style. The books are written by some of the most popular authors in the UK – including Andy McNab, Jojo Moyes, Anne Cleeves, Ian Rankin and Benjamin Zephaniah – so they can be a brilliant entry point to new genres, authors as well as the spark to reignite or build up the joy of reading.  


 

The Quick Reads programme has collaborated with over 30 publishers to produce a total of 135 titles since 2006 with over 5 million copies distributed and over 6 million library loans. Many are still available to borrow from your public library or buy from The Reading Agency’s bookshop.

We work with public libraries, prisons, colleges, hospitals and adult learning organisations to ensure these books are accessed by those who may find reading difficult as they are a perfect entry point to reading for pleasure. 

Photograph of two older Asian women sat at a table reading Quick Reads books.

This year’s titles – Out Now


Photo of an older man sat at the back of a lorry reading a book.

Get Involved

  • Buy the books through Bookshop.org, Waterstones, or borrow them from your local library. The titles are available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook!  
  • Libraries can order Quick Reads from your usual library supplier such as Askews or Gardners and the Ebook and audiobooks from Overdrive or BorrowBox.  
  • You can access accompanying learning resources, book group discussion guides and promotional materials on our resources database.
  • Quick Reads are perfect for supporting the Reading Ahead programme either as reading material or to use as rewards and incentives.  

Quick Reads are an extremely valuable tool for boosting reading skills, confidence and engagement in learning. 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.

Our long-term goal is to build a nation of readers by getting Quick Reads into every home in the UK!  

Three icons of people. One of the icons is white, the other two are navy.

1 in 3 adults in the UK do not regularly read for pleasure.

A line illustration of a head with a scribble inside.

Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression.

Quick Reads 2024 are out now!

Quick Reads 2024

6 new Quick Reads titles are out now!

Quick Reads 2024 are short books and great stories by bestselling authors, written in an accessible and easy to read style.

Order your books for just £1 from Bookshop.org to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you, or get them at or your local library.

Kia Abdullah, Those People Next Door
(abridged) (HQ, HarperCollins)

ISBN: 9780008654344
Number of pages:
160

Welcome to your dream home… meet your new neighbours… and prepare for the nightmare to begin…

Book cover of Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry
(abridged) (Penguin, Penguin Random House)

ISBN: 9780241688106
Number of pages:
144

The bestselling Noughts & Crosses author delivers a page-turning story of an ambitious A-level student Dante who unexpectedly finds himself carrying an enormous new responsibility.

Matt Cain, Game On
(Headline, Hachette)

ISBN: 9781035409730
Number of pages:
128

A media-averse footballer and a football-hating journalist discover a shared hidden passion – for each other – in this rollicking rom-com full of heart.

Book cover of Without Warning and Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal, Without Warning and Only Sometimes
(abridged) (Headline, Hachette)

ISBN: 9781035413683
Number of pages:
128

A poignant memoir painting a vivid portrait of cultural identity, family dynamics, and resilience in 1960s Birmingham.

Jo Nesbo, The Jealousy Man
(Vintage, Penguin Random House)

ISBN:
9781529928280
Number of pages:
112

Murder. Assassination. Revenge. A riveting and mysterious crime story, exploring the dark shadows of envy and betrayal.

Book cover of The Last Summer by Karen Swan

Karen Swan, The Last Summer
(abridged) (Pan Macmillan)

ISBN: 9781035029143
Number of pages:
128

Summer on St Kilda – a wild, remote Scottish island. Two strangers from drastically different worlds meet …

Read our Quick Reads 2022 evaluation report to find out more about the benefits of Quick Reads.

Take part in the World Book Night #ReadingHour from 7pm on 23 April and join people across the UK in dedicating time to reading on World Book Night. Find out more.

Quick Reads 2023

Discover the joy of reading with Quick Reads! Short books and great stories written by bestselling authors. These six titles were published on 13 April 2023, featuring some of the most popular titles from previous lists.

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 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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