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What is The Reader Bookshelf?

The Reader Bookshelf is an annual programme of carefully curated literature to support all of our reading-based work and the wider Reading Revolution. It’s a way of forging connections between our supporters, volunteers, staff and readers using a shared constellation of literature. The bookshelf includes a diverse range of fiction, plays, non-fictional prose, anthologies, poems, and short stories, for readers young and old, all linked by theme, an idea that changes annually. This year’s theme is Light and Darkness.

Light and Darkness

As we emerge from a global pandemic and a turbulent time of change, this year’s Bookshelf offers some ways in to thinking about the complications of emerging into light and life again as well as the nourishment or realisations felt during darkness and night. Among the books included on the Bookshelf 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.

Throughout the year, The Reader will be offering events and resources to guide you through an enriching reading experience with our new Bookshelf. You can buy some of the books from this year’s Bookshelf in our online store or in our Calderstones Bookshop.


Programmes & Events

The Reader Bookshelf will come to life in a special programme of events, including outdoor music and theatre performances, heritage and wellbeing events, and of course, Shared Reading groups.