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The Story of Britain’s Lost Readers

Teaching and Learning Resources , Literacy
Skills for Life Network

World Book Day next year will see the launch of Quick Reads, the first series of books for adult emergent readers written by bestselling authors

‘A staggering twelve million people of working age in Britain have literacy skills at or below the level expected of a 13-year old. The Quick Read books will be produced with these forgotten readers in mind. The books will be short, widely available and as good a read as anything else in a bookshop. Some of the authors already at work on this project include Ruth Rendell, Richard Branson, Patrick Augustus, Joanna Trollope and Danny Wallace.

Given the quality and variety of the authors, readers can expect books that are of considerable depth yet accessible to all. The series includes fiction and non-fiction and will have universal appeal; titles range from football writer, Mick Dennis, on the Premier League; to a new short novel from the hugely popular, Maeve Binchy. The books will go on sale in high street stores from 2nd March 2005 at a price of £2.99 each. Each one will be no more than 128 pages in length.

To encourage these potential readers to buy the Quick Reads, book tokens will be produced and distributed throughout the country. The book tokens will entitle the buyer to a £1 discount on the retail price of the Quick Reads titles.

"Quick Reads has a very ambitious aim: to transform the lives of the 12 million adults in the UK who have difficulty reading … we want to take emergent readers and make them addicted readers – so that reading for pleasure becomes not just a skill, but a habit." – Gail Rebuck, CEO of Random House Group

To do this the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) will seek to work with national, regional and local organisations to organise the distribution of tokens. To raise the support needed for this purpose NIACE has planned two staggered mail-shots. The purpose of the mail-shots is to share information and ideas, assess the possible number of tokens needed and to gather a list of local & regional organisations willing to get involved.

If you wish to be part of this exciting project or if you would like more information, please contact Richard Crabb or Barry Norris from NIACE’s Campaigns & Promotions team.

Telephone: 0116 2047073 Email:


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