I was shocked and saddened to hear via Twitter the announcement that the Quick Reads initiative will end because of the inability to find a sponsor for 2019. They require £120,000 to fund the scheme for another year.
This year’s authors include Mark Billingham, Dorothy Koomson and Fern Britton. The difference these books make can be seen in the heartfelt tweets by one of the Quick Reads best selling authors, Rowan Coleman over the weekend when the news broke.
I am lucky, I discovered the joy of reading very young. Once I could read Meg and Mog by myself I was off and haven’t stopped since. Reading has got me through illness and hard times when I needed to escape from reality, helped mould me by taking me to different places, experience different lives and show me different points of view. I have travelled around the world and been on adventures when I could not leave the house; laughed, cried and seen how people have overcome hardships which has also encouraged me not to give up hope when my own life became difficult. It has given me access to knowledge but above all the love of reading has provided me with friends and community through book clubs. It is a skill that should be accessible to all and it is never too late to learn as shown by Ursula in this clip – warning: tissues needed.
Austerity has already caused libraries to close, job losses for dedicated and experienced library staff and hours to access the library service cut, the demise of Quick Reads would be a further blow to adult literacy. Now is the time to show your support by sharing and retweeting #SaveQuickReads to see if a new sponsor or several can be found.
If not, maybe it is time for the book community to come together and fund it ourselves. Imagine how much could be raised if instead of purchasing that 99p book for our ever growing TBR pile or a takeaway coffee, book lovers everywhere donated it to a #SaveQuickReads fund. Miracles could happen if book lovers, fairies, worms and dragons and bloggers unite.
Let’s share the joy of reading!