You may already know about Quick Reads, an initiative that is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary. Since its inception, over five million copies of Quick Reads titles have been distributed since the life-changing programme began in 2006.
The idea is straightforward. One in six adults in the UK – approximately 9 million people – find reading difficult, and one in three people do not regularly read for pleasure.
Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing these shocking statistics by inspiring emergent readers, as well as those with little time or who have fallen out of the reading habit, with entertaining and accessible writing from the very best contemporary authors.
From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes. This year, for every book bought until 31 July 2021, another copy will be gifted to help someone discover the joy of reading. ‘Buy one, gift one’ will see thousands of free books given to organisations across the UK to reach less confident readers and those with limited access to books – bring the joy and transformative benefits of reading to new audiences. These books only cost £1, so it’s a small price to pay to make such a big difference.
This year’s short books include:
The Skylight, a dark domestic thriller from British Book Award winner Louise Candlish who thanks reading for setting her on the right path when she was ‘young and adrift’
Saving the Day, an uplifting romance by the much-loved Katie Fforde who never thought she would be able to be an author because of her struggle with dyslexia
Wish You Were Dead, the holiday from hell for Detective Roy Grace courtesy of long-time literacy campaigner and crime fiction maestro Peter James
How To Be A Woman – a specially abridged version of the feminist manifesto by Caitlin Moran: ‘everyone deserves to have the concept of female equality in a book they can turn to as a chatty friend.’
The Motive – an introduction to Khurrum Rahman’s dope dealer Javid Qasim who previously found the idea of reading a book overwhelming and so started reading late in life, to find ‘joy, comfort and an escape’
The Baby Is Mine – Oyinkan Braithwaite’s follow-up to her Booker nominated debut sensation My Sister, the Serial Killer – a family drama set in lockdown Lagos
I’ll be reviewing one of these books later in the week, but think of the difference you can make just by spending £1 on one of these #QuickReads.
The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England. www.readingagency.org.uk
Quick Reads, a programme by The Reading Agency,aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in three adults in the UK who do not regularly read for pleasure, and the one in six adults in the UK who find reading difficult. The scheme changes lives and plays a vital role in addressing the national crisis around adult literacy in the UK. Each year, Quick Reads commissioning editor Fanny Blake works with UK publishers to commission high profile authors to write short, engaging books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. Since 2006, over 5 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 5 million library loans (PLR) 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. From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes.