The popular adult literacy campaign, Quick Reads, is due to be shut down after a fruitless 18-month search for a new sponsor. SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon said:
"We cannot afford to lose Quick Reads, a brilliant campaign for showing people that reading is enjoyable and need not be intimidating."
One in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. Quick Reads’ initiative in commissioning well-known authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read and are then sold through major retailers and loaned through libraries can create lifelong readers. The lasting effects of a strong adult literacy campaign can not be overstated, ranging from improvements in mental health to employment opportunities.
Image: an ESOL and literacy class from Community Education Lewisham in a book discussion at Deptford Lounge, south London
As the Reading Agency says, “Quick Reads is making real, lasting changes to people's lives. Since 2006, 4.8 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 3 million library loans 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.”
It is our hope that a new sponsor can be found to give this unique scheme long term financial security. £120,000pa is not a large amount of money for a commercial sponsor or group of sponsors, whether inside or outside the publishing industry. Alternatively, publishers already involved in the printing and distribution of Quick Reads could simply take over the whole scheme, ensuring that they commission, print, promote and distribute books to broad and new audiences.
Saving Quick Reads will make a lasting difference to people’s lives.
Help raise awareness of Quick Reads' need for a sponsor: Tweet with #SaveQuickReads.