Now October has arrived we really are in the final countdown to the end of the Reading Rewards challenge for this year. It’s a very strange time for me. I created and despatched all the print for Reading Rewards to my library colleagues across the region. It is their task to distribute it locally and to try and encourage readers to take part. Many staff work very hard to talk up the challenge with their colleagues and at all sorts of events at which potential participants are present.
I, however, have no real clue as to how successful all this effort has been until the closing date has passed and the numbers have been counted, so I was really cheered this week, by an email which arrived from a happy participant called Margaret who said: …I was keen to do it when I saw the form a few weeks ago. I've read all my life, under the covers with a torch, as an adult (working in a library for a while), later to my children and now my grandchildren, but I probably read even more than ever now that I live alone and have far more time and no one there to tell me not to read in bed because they don't want to be disturbed . . .
I've been stuck in a rut and too lazy to get out of it, so the challenge was a great idea for me. Biographies I'd tried occasionally and not enjoyed, so I went for one of those first… I ticked the box on the entry form to say that I wouldn't read more of my 'new' category, but that's true of now, not then, because I then read Tony Hart's story (another sympathetic character) to try to push myself…
Anyway, thank you for the challenge. I suspect I will probably stick with my old favourites most of the time at the moment, but as soon as...I depend less on the escapism element of my reading, I will be branching out!
I'm looking forward to next year's challenge . . .
Here is a reader who has taken the challenge in the spirit in which it was created. Even though no one is looking over her shoulder, she has allowed herself to be pushed gently into choosing something different to read. So many people struggle to find books to read when they are browsing because they are always looking for an author or type of book they have tried before. There are so many wonderful books to be read on library shelves, we know that people just need to be open to trying something new occasionally, for some great reading experiences.
OK, Margaret's not hugely enthused by the biography titles she chose this time, but she has been inspired enough by the very fact of reading something different, to tell me her reactions.
That’s reward enough for me.