The Reading Agency launches Road to Reading for World Book Night

Transform your life with 30 minutes of reading a week

The Reading Agency launches Road to Reading for World Book Night

The “Couch to 5k” for new and lapsed readers
– Sign up today and pledge to read for 30 minutes each week
– Official kick-off during Reading Hour on World Book Night (Sunday 23 April)
– Weekly tips shared by The Reading Agency over the course of 10-week programme

London. Wednesday 5 April. World Book Night, the annual celebration of reading organised by national charity The Reading Agency, is today launching the Road to Reading, a 10-week initiative that challenges you to read for 30 minutes each week, and see what a difference it makes to your life.

With benefits including boosting self-esteem, supporting mental health, sparking curiosity and connecting us to others, regular reading is a vital tool for social and personal change. Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction, 52% more likely to feel socially included and 57% more likely to have better awareness of other cultures.[1]

Perfect for those who used to read more, but now struggle to find the time, or readers who haven’t picked up a book in a while, the Road to Reading invites everyone to pledge to read every week for 30 minutes, for a 10-week period.

Regular readers can also join in by signing up and logging their reads, with survey insights feeding into a national study into reading and life satisfaction. The Reading Agency hopes that reading lovers will help to sign people up to take part, supporting their mission to get the nation reading.

To anyone taking part, The Reading Agency will be then sharing weekly tips, useful advice, reading recommendations and more, aimed at helping participants along the way. There will also be ideas for shorter reads from the Quick Reads series, and social media assets for people to share their progress with friends and family.

Sign up to the Road to Reading is open from today at, with the challenge officially kicking off on World Book Night, during the Reading Hour (7-8pm) on Sunday 23rdApril.

Together with the whole nation, The Reading Agency will be inviting participants in the Road to Reading to tick off their first 30 minutes of reading then, spending time with a good book and inviting others to do the same.

“Whether you are a regular reader, or are keen to fall back in love with reading, then the Road to Reading is perfect for you. With sign-up available from today, this wonderful initiative organised by The Reading Agency highlights the importance of regular reading, and the crucial difference it makes to our wellbeing. Why not take up the challenge? Pledge to read for 30 minutes each week, and do join us as we kick off the journey on World Book Night during the Reading Hour!”

Louise Pentland, World Book Night Ambassador

“Just when you thought World Book Night couldn’t get any better! With the Road to Reading, The Reading Agency are not only inviting everyone to celebrate the power and pleasure of reading, but also they’re showing what an impact reading can have on each of us. 30 minutes of reading a week can be done in any way you like: all in one sitting, on your commute, during your lunch-break, just before switching off to bed. This World Book Night, the Reading Hour is the perfect time to kick off your journey towards a renewed love for reading.”

Katie Piper, World Book Night Ambassador

“The Road to Reading is such a brilliant initiative from The Reading Agency! Aimed at lapsed, new and seasoned readers alike, it invites everyone to sign up today and read a book (or magazine, newspaper, website page – anything goes!) for 30 minutes a week, to show the incredible impact just half an hour of reading can have on our lives. The 30 minutes can be broken down throughout the week, so the reading will be manageable and not too intimidating. Do join us on World Book Night, when you can kick off the Road to Reading with your first 30 minutes during the Reading Hour.”

Shaparak Khorsandi, World Book Night Ambassador

“The Road to Reading has launched! This World Book Night initiative will be a valuable tool for those new to reading or getting back into the swing. We hope that we can sign up as many participants as possible to feed into the national study and give us valuable insight into how reading habits are formed.”

Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency

For more information, please visit

Follow the latest developments on social media via:

@WorldBookNight @ReadingAgency / #WorldBookNight #ReadingHour

About The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. They work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds; their vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life. They help 1.9 million people benefit from reading every year, through their programmes, their tireless campaigning, their excellent networks, and their power to influence, challenge and make change happen.

About World Book Night

World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason –to inspire others to read more. In 2022, World Book Night gifted books to organisations across the UK and Ireland, reaching 15 million people digitally. Organisations and individuals hold events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to our lives, from book themed parties at home to books swaps in offices. Organisations can volunteer to hand out books from our annual list to people who don’t read for pleasure or own books.

About Quick Reads

Quick Reads, a programme by The Reading Agency, aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in three adults in the UK who do not regularly read for pleasure, and the one in six adults in the UK who find reading difficult. The scheme changes lives and plays a vital role in addressing the national crisis around adult literacy in the UK.

Each year, Quick Reads works with a range of publishers to commission high profile authors to write short, engaging books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. In 2023 The Reading Agency are launching a set of most popular Quick Reads to celebrate 16 years of Quick Reads.

The titles are available for just £1 and since 2006, over 6 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 5 million library loans (PLR) 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. From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds. Find out more

[1] Billington (2015), Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure, Quick Reads, University of Liverpool

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