Take up Merton’s Six Book Challenge and be in with a chance of winning a weekend in London

Merton Council is calling on all adults living in the borough to get reading as part of this year’s Six Book Challenge.

Everyone over the age of 16 is eligible to take part in the challenge to read six books by June, and can register through any of Merton’s libraries.

Along with a book of their choice selected from the library, readers will be given a reading diary in which they record throughout the challenge how they feel about their reading, if they feel they are improving with each book they read and what they feel about the stories they are discovering.

All those who take up the reading challenge and complete their sixth book receive a certificate from the Mayor. Their names are automatically entered into a prize draw giving them the chance to win one of a number of prizes including a cultural weekend in London.

Now in its third year, this national reading scheme is the brainchild of independent charity The Reading Agency. Merton Council has been part of the scheme since the beginning with each year proving more successful than the last. 2009 saw 258 people in total sign up to the challenge. Of these, 105 became first-time library members.

Reading diaries from residents taking part in previous years reveal how many people develop a love of reading and experience improved confidence and increased motivation from being involved in the challenge. They no longer feel excluded from the world of books. The skills Merton’s challengers pick up as a result of the reading scheme help improve their employability and social skills as well as their grasp of the English language.

Cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Martin Whelton said: “Since 2008, hundreds of adults have participated in the Six Book Challenge and it’s played an important role in widening reading participation amongst adults. Merton’s libraries have also seen a high participation record in this programme, especially amongst those residents who have English as a second language. The challenge has also played a part in adults wanting to improve their confidence with reading in a fun and easy way and I would therefore encourage people to sign up and take part in the challenge today.”

Open to all adults over the age 16 years, participants are invited to sign up at Merton’s libraries. To find your nearest library visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/libraries or call 020 8545 3783.

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Press Contact:
Leoni Munslow
Communications Assistant
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654