What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Almost everyone reads for pleasure from time to time.  They may read newspapers, magazines and/or books, and the subject matter can vary widely, from fiction to daily new reports, and from science to the arts.  

  • For some people, their reading is part of a wider interest or hobby of some kind;  almost all free time activities have books and magazines of relevance.  

  • For others, it is reading itself that is their hobby;  they may follow a particular theme or author, or just pick up what they fancy when they have time in which to read.  

  • Reading, particularly newspapers and magazines, is one of the most flexible uses of free time.  It can be done almost anywhere and at any time.  

Find out more


Book Trust
Poetry Society



Poetry Review 
Stand Magazine 
The Times Literary Supplement

Getting started

  • Find a local reading group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.

  • Consult books, newspapers or magazines to see the different types of reading material that are available.

  • Check in your local library/paper or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Most people learn how to read at school;  for those who have difficulty and want to improve their reading skills, there is special help available (see learning general skills). 

  • Much  reading is done at home by people on their own.  But many people also read when travelling or when away from home on holiday or visiting.  

  • Some people enjoy the stimulus and social contact of belonging to a reading group or study circle of some kind.  This can be a local group, or one linked by mail or Internet contacts. 

Equipment or clothing
  • The only essential is the reading matter itself.  This is usually pre-printed matter of some kind, whether newspaper, magazine, pamphlet or book, though more material is now available via the computer screen.

A place or facilities
  • No special facilities are needed for reading.  It is an activity that can be, and is, done almost anywhere.  

  • Reading groups usually meet either at members homes, or in a local hall or room.

Have a go - get started now

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