The Magical World of Books
On the shelves of my overladen bookcase, sit some of those books because I have fond memories of reading them as a child. And this is the key because the majority of people learn to read when they are little most of the books they borrow from libraries or read with friends and family are written for children. They are age appropriate. This is great. Who doesn’t love a good children’s book? But if you are starting to learn to read as an adult a book about being afraid of the dark or a dog with spots might not be what you want.
When we set out to develop Turning Pages we did so knowing how important it was for people to be able to enjoy picking up a book. With this in mind, we created 30 reading books with topics ranging from a hint of romance, the first world war, ghosts and supernatural creatures to non-fiction books about sport and a biography. The books have been popular with our Learners who are reading for the first time.
‘In a little over 7 weeks I had gone from being a non-reader to being able to read short story books’ - Shannon Trust Learner
As they move on through Turning Pages and start to explore the world of books new readers are keen to get hold of other appropriate reading materials. Our ambassador Andy Croft has written two books for emergent readers as part of the SPCK’s Diffusion books series. Recent feedback from Learners and Mentors at HMP Channings Wood has reminded him of the power of reading:
'If it's gratifying to find that someone has enjoyed something you have written, how more is it to know that a book has found its ideal audience and that the readers for whom it was written have taken possession of it. The feedback forms are a compelling remind of the liberating and unifying power of literacy. which allows us to exchange words for experience, to navigate first words on the page, and then the world beyond the book, beyond the prison wall.'
If you are working with someone who’s taking their first steps into the magical world of books the Reading Agency’s Find a read database is a good place to start looking for things they might enjoy. It includes the Quick Reads series, books written by well-known authors and specifically designed to be easy to read.
With the success of Turning Pages reading books we have plans afoot to extend the range in 2018. What would you want to read?