Quick Reads continue to boost literacy learning

21 May 2015

The Quick Reads books continue to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on adult literacy learning – 9 years after they first appeared in bookshops and libraries. The latest evaluation – conducted by NIACE with hundreds of literacy tutors – demonstrates how Quick Reads are changing attitudes towards reading, levels of confidence and engagement in learning.

Of the literacy tutors that took part in the evaluation:

  • 95% said that Quick Reads were effective in improving learners’ literacy skills.
  • 97% said that Quick Reads were effective in improving learners’ confidence to read.
  • 97% felt that Quick Reads were effective in improving learners’ attitudes towards reading.
  • 93% felt that Quick Reads were effective in improving learners’ attitudes towards learning.
  • 87% estimated that at least half of their Quick Reads learners go on to read other Quick Reads titles.
  • 54% said that at least half of their learners enrol on other courses after reading Quick Reads.

Joyce Black, NIACE Assistant Director for Development and Research, said:

“Quick Reads are playing a major role in helping adults to improve their literacy and their lives. Countless adults have read, completed and enjoyed a book for the very first time. They have gone on to read many other books and through reading for pleasure, have become more confident, have better health and have encouraged others, including, perhaps most importantly, their children to read.

“However, there are still far too many people who are missing out on the benefits of reading, beyond the joy that a good book brings. One in three adults in the UK do not read for pleasure, a statistic that is seldom discussed.”

Quick Reads and NIACE have also worked in partnership this year to deliver a creative writing programme in three prisons. Visits by Quick Reads authors inspired the inmates to take part, giving them an insight into starting to write and putting thoughts onto paper. The result of this work is Through My Eyes an e-book publication of poems and short stories written by inmates at all three prisons.

In addition to this project, Quick Reads is also working with the Booker Prize Foundation. Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle’s Quick Read, Dead Man Talking, will be offered to a number of prisons and Young Offenders Institutions across the UK through the Booker Prize Foundation’s prisons initiative, Books Unlocked, facilitated by the National Literacy Trust. 


And for the third year running, Quick Reads is also working in partnership with The Reading Agency with the One Quick Read, One Prison project, which has brought over 4,000 books to prisons.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Director of Quick Reads, said:

“It is fantastic to see once again how much Quick Reads are valued by practitioners and how encouraging it is to see the very real impact that our books have on emerging readers and reading for pleasure. The feedback and insights we can draw from our evaluation will continue to shape and influence both the titles and authors we commission, and the activity we undertake.”

Through My Eyes is available online, and will be disseminated via the virtual campus and OLASS providers, as well as the wider literacy community. The e-book will also be a useful tool for literacy teachers to use when developing reading and writing with offenders.