The act of reading can be transformative. If you need a little help in getting into the habit, bite-sized tomes are a great place to start—as these stories show.

Reading a good book on a rainy afternoon might be one of the greatest simple pleasures in life. But the merits of reading stretch far beyond that: reports show that people who read for pleasure experience significant benefits in everyday life from health and wellbeing, to relationships and career.

It’s therefore a bit startling that one in six adults in the UK struggles with reading, whilst one in three does not read for pleasure. Here’s where Quick Reads steps in.

In a campaign to get more people reading, Quick Reads design books that are shorter and more accessible for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The bite-size format means they’re also perfect for people who want a light, easy read to pick up for their commute or to fit into a busy day.

The campaign has already had a significant impact on various communities and individuals across the country.

 

Coping with grief

Sara and her father

When Sara’s father died after a long illness, she couldn’t bring herself to read anymore, which was shocking to all her friends who knew her as an avid reader.

Yet for Sara, who used to read and discuss books with her dad, it was impossible to concentrate on the subject matter for extended periods of time. It was also difficult to cope with the loss of the shared experience with her dad.

Until one day, she picked up a Quick Read by Simon Kernick—one of her dad’s favourite authors.  She read the novella in one sitting and it kick started her love of reading, prompting her to start a book blog, so she could share her thoughts and read together with other people.

 

Reading on the move

On the Merseyside ferry

The morning commute can be a lot more enjoyable with a good book in hand and in Liverpool in October, 3,000 Quick Reads books were given away on ferries, trains, buses and taxis across the city via the Moved to Read initiative.

They’re inspiring people to get back into reading for pleasure, proving that all you really need is a spare ten minutes.

 

Adult learning

Young Mums Will Achieve

The Cornwall College Group has ten Learning Centres across Cornwall and Devon helping local people fulfil their potential.

This includes Young Mums Will Achieve, an award-winning course for pregnant young women and teenage mums aged between 14 and 19. Its primary objectives are to support mums back into mainstream education, employment and training while supporting the development of positive parenting and life skills.

Quick Reads has been implemented as part of the programme, by sending the young mums “book boxes” with a variety of titles to choose from.

The results are impressive. Many of the mums used to read magazines (66%) but didn't consider that as reading. The project helped them realise that “reading” covers many things and there are numerous advantages to reading any kind of format.

 

Workplace learning

Reading at Argos

The USDAW Learning Centre at the DHL Argos site in Castleford has found that literacy and reading are a very popular learning initiative amongst its employees.

For the fifth year in a row, the staff are really looking forward to pushing their reading skills and challenging their normal comfort zones by participating in the 6 Book Challenge.

They have also recently added a new feature to the challenge: Book Clubs. Using Quick Reads books and resources as a base, they set up a book club for each individual team, from warehouse colleagues to team leaders. The book club meetings are informal and relaxed, revolving around discussions about the books and further reading recommendations.

 

Lunchtime entertainment

Tracy

Quick Reads books have been placed for Communication Workers Union (CWU) members throughout Royal Mail in canteens across the South West for easy access while members have their daily breaks. Along with the books, there are also book review sheets in which they can rate the book and say whom they would recommend it to.

Exeter Royal Mail centre canteen workers have enjoyed the books with one especially dedicated staff member, Tracey Wilkins, having read them all.

Tracy said, “They are very interesting and not too much to take in. Any kind of reading helps you along in life, I do lots of book work so it helps me a lot”

 

Quick Reads have most recently published six exciting new titles, spanning various genres: from a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast to a road trip in search of Poldark.

 

Find out more about Quick Reads, including this year's titles

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