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Bringing people together and books to life

We’re a national charity that uses the power of literature and reading aloud to transform lives.

From our global Shared Reading movement and social enterprises, through to the events and activities on offer at our Calderstones Park home – our work improves wellbeing, reduces loneliness and helps us find new meaning in our lives. ​

Read with us
  • 95%

    Shared Reading makes me feel better

  • 81%

    It helps me connect deeply to others

  • 19,500

    Readers in 2021-22

  • 500+

    Volunteers around the UK

Become a volunteer

Love reading? Love meeting new people? Want to make a difference locally? If so, Shared Reading could be the thing for you. And you could be just the person for us.

Find out more

The Reader at Calderstones

The Reader at Calderstones is a community unlike any other, somewhere people can get together, experience literature and try something new.

Drop in at the Mansion House to get a bite to eat at The Reader Café, join a Shared Reading group or explore 5,000 years of storytelling in our dedicated exhibition.

Explore the park, where you’ll find the Storybarn play space and The Reader Ice Cream Parlour.

The Storybarn

The Storybarn exists to spark a life-long love of books and reading, and an unending curiosity for exploring the astonishing worlds of our imagination.

Whether you’re coming as family, party or school, this imaginative play space is dedicated to sharing the delights of reading with babies and children.


Come and play!
  • 8,937

    Storyhunter and Incy Wincy Rhymer attendees

  • 95

    Birthday parties

  • 111

    School visits

  • 23

    Family fun days