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The Reader relaunches ‘the magazine of the Reading Revolution’

Written by Rachael Norris, 3rd April 2020

Biannual magazine inspires a deeper connection between literature and life

The Reader magazine, which started life in 1997, has relaunched as a biannual publication.

The new-look magazine – aimed at readers who know that great literature does something more than delight and entertain – celebrates great books and poetry that can help with the difficult stuff of ordinary human life.

The publication is the creation of The Reader, the charity that brings thousands of people together each week in free, weekly groups to talk, laugh and share great novels, poems and plays – aloud and alive. The groups help people build meaningful connections with each other, and themselves, improving wellbeing and reducing social isolation.

Jane Davis, The Reader’s founder and director, added: “Reading can help us through all sorts of tough times and The Reader magazine celebrates the power of literature to do this. In these uncertain days, we hope that the words within these pages will provide inspiration and comfort in equal measure.

“For those readers already in our Shared Reading community across the UK, the magazine – along with our virtual readings and recommended reads – will help us to stay connected in the months ahead, despite the fact that we can no longer come together in our weekly groups.”

Frances Macmillan, editor of The Reader magazine, said: “After seventy issues of the magazine in its original format, last year felt like a good time to pause production and take stock.

“The result is a reimagined magazine that will inspire keen readers looking for first-rate reading material, while flying the flag for the Reading Revolution that’s at the heart of The Reader’s charitable work.”

Along with personal, passionate recommendations and discussion of great literature, ‘the magazine of the Reading Revolution’ showcases the stories and poems that are read in The Reader’s weekly Shared Reading groups up and down the country.

It also includes essays and articles which show how reading together builds meaning and connection, and helps with inner life, mental health and soul troubles.

Poet and author, Blake Morrison, who helped kick start the growth of The Reader into an international movement when he wrote a Guardian article in 2008 – something which is

discussed in the latest issue – said: “I’ve been a supporter of The Reader since I first came across the organisation in 2008. It’s a delight to see this new manifestation of the magazine, with its bold design, lively features and passionate commitment to the value of reading. Long may it thrive.”

Alison Clark, Director North, Arts Council England said “The Reader magazine relaunch comes at a time when people are looking for ways to entertain and inform themselves from home. I’m sure that readers from all over the country will welcome the opportunity to stay connected to The Reader and its work through the magazine’s varied and lively content during this period of isolation and I wish its relaunch well.”

Other writers and contributors featuring in the relaunch issue include children’s author, Pat Butchart, Lord Howarth of Newport CBE, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing and former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Iona Heath.

Issue 71 of The Reader magazine is out now and on sale for £8 in all good bookshops via Central Books, and online.

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