The Reading Agency launches Road to Reading for World Book Night

world book night banner
  • 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



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 (source: Billington 2015).

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 worldbooknight.org, with the challenge officially kicking off on World Book Night, during the Reading Hour (7-8pm) on Sunday 23rd April.

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.

Louise Pentland, World Book Night Ambassador, said: “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!”

Katie Piper, World Book Night Ambassador, said: “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.”

Shaparak Khorsandi, World Book Night Ambassador, said: “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.”

Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: “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.”

For more information, please visit worldbooknight.org.