A record number of Islington residents have successfully completed this year’s Six Book Challenge.
Certificates have been presented to the 127 people who finished the challenge to read six books and then record them in a diary. This compares to just 37 last year.
The Six Book Challenge is a nationwide initiative, run by The Reading Agency, which helps adults develop their literacy skills and get into the habit of reading for pleasure. More than 480 people registered for the Islington scheme with participants meeting to read and complete their reading diaries at Islington libraries, City and Islington College, adult and community learning centres.
The theme this year was ‘Read Anything. Read Anywhere’, which meant that participants could choose to read any form of printed matter – from newspapers to poetry and plays to websites.
Islington residents who took part included older people who never got the opportunity to develop a love of reading when they were younger, students and people for whom English is not their first language. The largest number of participants were women aged 25-44 with 77% of all participants joining Islington libraries or City and Islington College libraries.
Carmel Temple, who took part in the challenge, said: “I was proud to get my certificate. I’ve got more confidence and I use the library now. I read Roald Dahl and listened to audio books.” Another participant, Amber Munir, who is a GCSE English student, said: “I gained the confidence of serious reading. I also began regular reading and it seems like a habit. I want to read more. I loved this challenge!”
To celebrate completing the Six Book Challenge, the participants received certificates signed by this year’s reading ambassadors – Adele Parks, Andy McNab and Martina Cole. They will now all be entered into the national prize draw.
Cllr Cllr Asima Shaikh, executive member for economic and community development, said: “The Six Book Challenge improves the chances in life for people who find reading difficult by building their reading confidence and motivation. Warm congratulations to everyone who completed the challenge. We hope they will now become regular visitors to Islington libraries.”
Anyone interested in signing up for next year’s challenge should call into the local library for details or see http://sixbookchallenge.org.uk.