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Here's everything you need to know

  1. Q) What is The Reader Bookshelf?

The short answer is:

A collection of texts that we think will inspire and excite you, and really hope you can enjoy.

The slightly longer answer is:

An annual programme of carefully curated literature to support all of our reading-based work and the wider Reading Revolution.  We’ve created it to help our supporters, volunteers, staff and readers have a shared constellation of things to read or structure projects around.


  1. Q) Ok, but what’s it for?

We hope The Reader Bookshelf will be a source of inspiration and conversation across our organisation, communities and the wider world. It will be used to support our reading based work, including Shared Reading groups, teaching and training, and programmes and events, both online and at Calderstones.


  1. Q) What’s on The Reader Bookshelf?

All sorts! We’ve included works of fiction, plays, poetry anthologies, short story collections, picture books, and novels and non-fiction for young adults.


  1. Q) What is this year’s theme and what does it mean?

This year’s theme is ‘Weathering the Storm’. As global, economic and climate crises bear down on our daily lives, we are turning to the literature that can help us endure. Among the books included there might be old favourites, unknown quantities, or books you’d never imagined reading before – but all are worth reading and re-reading, as a string of lights guiding us through the wonders and complexities of our life and times.


  1. Q) Who picks what goes on The Reader Bookshelf?

Staff, supporters and volunteers have helped select the texts for The Reader Bookshelf. The Literature Directorate (a team at The Reader HQ) curated the initial texts to form the core bookshelf but we hope to add to, and expand, the bookshelf throughout the year.

  1. Q) How can I access books or poems from The Reader Bookshelf?

We’ll provide copies of texts from The Reader Bookshelf for Shared Reading groups and will also stock copies in our bookshop in Calderstones, or you can buy them online at

If you run a Shared Reading group and would like to get hold of any of the books, please email

We’ll also be sharing and discussing books and poems from the Bookshelf on our website, via our social media and our podcast, so you can dip in and out of the conversation throughout the year.