I recently discovered the Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge. According to the website, one in six adults struggles to read, and the challenge is intended to encourage them to read more and improve their reading. Participants choose six things to read and record what they’ve read. They get a certificate for completing the challenge, and can enter a draw to win prizes. The six reads don’t have to be books – they can be blogs, magazines or whatever the reader is interested in reading.
The 2013 challenge is to be led by Andy McNab. I think he’s a great choice – when he joined the army at 17, he had a reading age of 11. Now he’s a successful author. That’s one hell of a turn-around, and if anyone can serve as inspiration, he can. Plus, he doesn’t have a nerdy image – he was in the army, and served in the SAS. That’s about as far away from nerdy as it’s possible to get.
I think the challenge is a great idea. Getting more people to read is a good thing, and I like that people can read whatever they like to earn the certificate. Having more people able to read confidently is a good thing, and I’ve written before that I don’t care what people read. I’d like to think that some of the people who take part in this challenge will go on to find a love of reading books, but if they don’t, that’s fine. If doing the challenge means that they’ll be more confident reading and generally be more able to find out what they need, that’s a good thing.