Indie bookshops for Eager Readers Project revealed

News - Bookselling Wednesday, 05 June 2019

BA and Egmont team up with eight shops for programme to boost reading amongst reluctant readers with targeted book tokens

The Booksellers Association and Egmont have revealed the eight independent bookshops that will be participating in the Eager Readers Project, which is part of the BA's Diversity and Inclusiveness initiative. The bookshops are: Booka Bookshop; Book-ish; Bristol Stanfords; Button & Bear; Drake The Bookshop; Griffin Books; Read. Holmfirth; and Rogan's Books.

The Eager Readers Project will provide funding to the shops to create a six-week summer reading initiative in their local communities, designed to inspire children to read for pleasure. Booksellers will join local schools to sign up families with a child aged 7-11 who is reluctant to read and whose parents find it difficult to make time to read to their children. These children will be given a £10 book token every week for six weeks and invited to choose a book from the participating bookshop.

Meanwhile, the parents will receive a £10 voucher for a local cafe each week so that the bookshop visit can be made into a family outing. They will commit to reading to their children each day for twenty minutes, for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, each family will be given a 'thank you' book token.

If the pilot programme is successful, it is hoped that more booksellers will adopt it. The project is based on research done by Egmont with Foyles and WH Smith which proved 'the vital role of being read to and free choice in inspiring children to read for pleasure'.

Cally Poplak, md of Egmont UK, said: "The quality of submissions was truly inspiring. All eight bookshops demonstrated a deep commitment to engaging disadvantaged families and families from ethnic minorities, and a thoughtful understanding of Egmont's research methodology and how to roll it out in their local community."

BA md Meryl Halls said: "We are thrilled to be working with Egmont in making this project a reality for independent bookshops, having seen the massive impact Foyles and WHS had with their projects. We are looking forward to seeing the bookshop projects come to fruition and to hearing from the bookshops about the readers they’ve created."

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