Six new Quick Reads launched for 2013 Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 10:38
New research unveiled today shows that a quarter of UK adults (over 12 million people) have only picked up a book to read for pleasure once or less in the past six months. Nearly one in 10 adults claim they never read books (8%), with over a quarter (29%) of those who read once every six months or less citing time pressures as the reason.
However, the statistics which reveal Britain’s ‘reading rut’ also illustrate the many personal and social benefits that reading for pleasure provides. Of those polled about reading for pleasure:
- 53% said that reading made them feel more relaxed
- 61% said if helped them switch off from their day-to-day life
- 51% said they liked experiencing new stories
- 40% said they felt like they learn new subjects
- 32% said that finishing a book gives them the same or greater sense of achievement as they get by going to the gym
The findings come as Quick Reads – backed by actress Kara Tointon – launches a new set of bite-size books by renowned authors, including Andy McNab and Kathy Lette, in a bid to encourage more people to get into reading.
This year’s Galaxy Quick Reads titles are:
- Love is Blind - Kathy Lette
- Today Everything Changes - Andy McNab
- Wrong Time, Wrong Place - Simon Kernick
- A Dreadful Murder - Minette Walters
- A Sea Change - Veronica Henry
- The Silurian Gift - Mike Tucker
Being dyslexic, I often find picking up a book quite daunting so Galaxy Quick Reads are really helpful. As well as building your confidence in your reading skills, they’re the perfect way to discover new authors and read something you wouldn’t normally choose.
Actress Kara Tointon, who is supporting Quick Reads, said:
"Being dyslexic, I often find picking up a book quite daunting so Galaxy Quick Reads are really helpful. As well as building your confidence in your reading skills, they’re the perfect way to discover new authors and read something you wouldn’t normally choose. I love the fact they’ll help others like me and people will realise they’re not alone in their struggle with reading."
Andy McNab, who authored Today Everything Changes, said:
"I know what people mean when they say reading a book can feel daunting and intimidating. I had the reading age of an 11 year old when I went into the army at 16 but learning to read opened up so many opportunities for me. I feel passionate about the work Quick Reads does - reading the bite-sized books gives people such a confidence boost and once you've read one, in time, you can go on to read anything you want to."
Kathy Lette, who authored Love is Blind, said:
"Because I left school at 16, all my education came through reading. Yes, sometimes it’s good to relax in front of the telly, but man and woman cannot live by television alone, which is why I penned a Galaxy Quick Read for people who’ve got out of the habit of reading. What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. And a good book. A Galaxy Quick Read is a mental espresso."
Simon Kernick, who authored Wrong Time, Wrong Place, said:
"Quick Reads does some fantastic work, reaching out to those who have difficulties reading or who just won't read a longer book. I was honoured to be asked to write a Galaxy Quick Read and if writing one means people are able to improve their literacy levels and gain confidence through reading then it is very worthwhile."
An additional, in-depth study by the ‘National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy’ (NRDC) – commissioned by Quick Reads – has further revealed the benefits that reading for pleasure can bring, concluding that it has a positive impact on self esteem; that it helps people engage emotionally; and that it can help them connect to others on a social level.
The research, undertaken with former non-readers who had started to read in book groups, showed that reading and talking about books helps people do far more than improve their literacy – they also learn about different cultures, history and experiences.
We are proud to be part of this initiative and continue to work hard to ensure the books reach as wide an audience as possible and that a range of teachers, librarians, union learning reps and community workers have the resources and support they need to use the books to maximum effect.
Sue Southwood, Quick Reads Project Manager at NIACE, said:
"This year’s impact evaluation of NIACE’s outreach work to support Quick Reads shows yet again that we are helping to get the books into the right hands. One of our survey respondents summed it up perfectly by saying - The biggest change is when adult learners complete a book for the first time in their lives! It's a milestone that many never believed possible. The benefits are somewhat intangible, but the satisfaction on achieving a goal that they never thought possible is far wider than simply increasing confidence. It can help put prior fears and insecurities aside.
We are proud to be part of this initiative and continue to work hard to ensure the books reach as wide an audience as possible and that a range of teachers, librarians, union learning reps and community workers have the resources and support they need to use the books to maximum effect."
Dame Gail Rebuck, Chair of Quick Reads, said:
"Reading has the power to transform lives, providing bridges between people and opening up limitless opportunities.
No one should be left out of this enriching experience and I am proud that our industry has come together to produce high quality, interesting books, which engage the many adults who can’t read and the many more who don’t."
Cathy Rentzenbrink, from Quick Reads, commented:
"Reading can bring so much to your life, from giving you something to discuss with friends to helping you relax or taking you to another world, so it’s sad to think that one in four people are in such a reading rut that they hardly ever pick up a book.
This year’s Galaxy Quick Reads are full of drama and emotion but have been written and edited to reduce barriers to reading for the less confident. One in six adults of working age in the UK have literacy issues which is why the book industry have come together to create this collection of books.
I’m really proud of our Galaxy Quick Reads and there’s something there for everyone so I would encourage everyone to start their reading journey now."
Dr Sam Duncan, from the National Research and Development Centre, which authored the in-depth study added:
"Reading can have a dramatic effect on self-esteem and a sense of what you’re capable of. Every single participant in our study noted that starting to read had increased his or her confidence. The sense of personal achievement that people felt when they finished a book was significant. Slightly shorter and potentially less intimidating books, like Galaxy Quick Reads, are great for helping those who may be unsure about tackling something longer, to experience the benefits reading can bring."
Galaxy Quick Reads are available nationwide in high street bookstores, supermarkets and online, priced at just £1 each or are available through libraries. For more information visit http://www.quickreads.org.uk/.