This is a quick post about the launch of Quick Reads 2018 from The Reading Agency, a selection of six short books (only £1!) by bestselling authors which are aimed at less confident adult readers or anyone who wants a cracking story but is short on time. There are so many reasons I’m keen to support this programme which has distributed over 4.8 million books in twelve years, but it all boils down to ‘reading changes lives’. Nobody should have to miss out on that, whether it’s the literacy skills essential to full participation in everyday life or the opportunity to read for pleasure, which many adults in the UK don’t.
To me, reading feels like a kind of magic and anything which spreads that is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t matter what you read or whether it’s one book a year or a hundred, I just love to see people reading. Stories provide entertainment, escapism, comfort. They narrow the gaps between people and take us places we might never go. That sense of human connection is really powerful and it’s always moving hearing what reading brings to people’s lives. The two Quick Reads authors who’ve visited the Literary Sofa in the past tell of experiences many will share: reading has offered Tammy Cohen escape from loneliness and depression, whereas Kit de Waal’s story, as someone who grew up without books, shows that it’s never too late.
Getting support with literacy challenges and having free access to books transformed the lives of my working class parents (I wrote about this here). And since my own love of words and books was inspired by my mum, we are proof of a positive ripple effect that can bridge generations – there’s no going back! Reading is something you do on your own as an adult, but it’s also something to share, bond over and pass on. It opens up all sorts of opportunities. They may be short, but it’s exciting to know what a big difference these six Quick Reads will make.
I have too much on my plate at the moment and due to intense work on my new novel there will be no posts for the next two weeks. BUT when I return on 21 February it’ll be with the SPRING SOFA SPOTLIGHT, featuring 7 or 8 brilliant new releases I’ve discovered, followed by visits from some of the authors in March and April.