Quick Reads first launched in 2006 and is a project run by The Reading Agency. Working together with top authors, it produces six books each year; short books with simple vocabulary that help ease you into reading for pleasure or help you rediscover your love of books.
In Wales, four books are produced each year – two in English and two in Welsh, in an initiative run by the Welsh Books Council and supported by the Welsh Assembly. The books for this year are due to be published next month.
If you’re an EFL/ESL teacher, they’re invaluable teaching aids and great books to use with intermediate students who want to read books in English but find a full-length novel daunting. Quick Reads help to bridge the gap between reading passages and text for comprehension and meaning in students’ text books and attempting to read a full-length novel for pleasure, but which also helps expand their vocabulary and language skills.
The beauty of a Quick Reads book is that vocabulary is pitched at the right level for an intermediate learner and the length means they are likely to be able to finish reading the book within the framework of a one or two-week course. And the fact that they can finish one or more over the length of a summer course gives the students a real sense of achievement and boosts confidence in their ability.
At one point, it didn’t look as if there would be a Quick Reads 2020. But then author JoJo Moyes stepped in to save the initiative, putting in her own money to keep it going for the next three years. I’m really happy that it is continuing and hope that people continue to support it. I know I will be using this year’s books with students and encouraging others to do so, having seen how excited past students have been to finish a book without constantly having to refer to a dictionary or an electronic translation tool. Quick Reads may be short and look like very slight books but they have been invaluable to me and my students and do wonders for making them more confident readers in English.
Quick Reads books are available in all good bookshops, online retailers and at your local library. For more on this year’s titles, check out Quick Reads 2020, and for more information on the scheme, have a look at the resources available on the Reading Agency website.W