Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The National Year of Reading

2008 is the National Year of Reading in the UK. It is about celebrating reading in all its forms and highlighting the importance of libraries. It is about encouraging parents to read to their children, and people in general just to read.
It is about challenging employers to turn their old smoking rooms into quiet reading rooms, and encouraging workers to read. Natasha Oakley’s whose Wanted: White Wedding is out this month explained “`Setting aside the fact I earn my living writing books, as a mum of five this is something I really want to be involved in. The hope is that the campaign will reach people who don't consider themselves 'readers'. The slogan is 'Reading - Anytime, Anything, Anywhere'. I'm all for taking the snobbishness out of books. It should be fun!'
Authors from literary authors to series romance authors are involved in a wide number of events. As part of the NYR nine Mills & Boon authors have been asked to be ‘Writers in Residence’ in nine of England’s library authorities. The timing and the match could not be more perfect, as Mills & Boon celebrates its 100th birthday, there is no one who knows a good book like a Mills & Boon author – or reader! It’s a fantastic accolade and tribute to the importance of Mills & Boon to libraries and all the hard work done by so many of our authors in them.
The Mills & Boon ‘Writers in Residence’ for the NYR are: Louise Allen – Peterborough, Susan Stephens – Kirklees, Kate Hardy – Norfolk, Nicola Cornick – Wiltshire, Sharon Kendrick – Hampshire, Caroline Anderson – Suffolk, Michelle Styles – Northumberland, India Grey – Cheshire, Natasha Oakley – Bedfordshire
Kate Hardy whose In Bed with Her Italian Boss recently won the RNA Romance Prize explained what being a Writer in Residence meant to her: "Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures, so I'm delighted to support the National Year of Reading by being a writer in residence at my local library. I've spent many happy hours choosing books from my local library and even more happy hours discovering new worlds through those books." Nicola Cornick added “"I am thrilled and honoured to be the Wiltshire Writer is Residence as part of the National Year of Reading. Helping to build a greater national passion for reading is a cause very close to my heart. For me it is all about entertainment, exploration and ideas a plenty!" Nicola’s 25th book, The Last Rake in London is published next month.
A spokesperson for Mills & Boon said : ‘Mills & Boon is extremely proud to support the National Year of Reading, a government-backed initiative which aims to get more readers reading more! It will be supported by a TV advertising campaign featuring Geri Halliwell, Lenny Henry, Bill Bailey, Jon Culshaw and Jo Brand amongst others. The NYR will see a nationwide campaign reminding reluctant readers, hesitant readers and even prolific readers of the joy of reading. It’s a wonderful opportunity for Mills & Boon to be part of this fantastic year celebrating reading!’

You can see the launch video here. It is one of my current favourite as I do love the mish mash of celebrities and in particular Bill Bailey reading from Susan Napier's Harlequin Presents. i think it captures the whole essense of the campaign.
But wherever you are, 2008 is a great year to read. One thing you can do to challenge yourself is to take part in the e-harlequin 100,000 book challenge. For every book review posted on eharlquin, they will donate a book to the National Literacy fund. It is a challenging target and they do need more readers.


Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Michelle,

I just viewed the NYR launch video
and loved it! Good luck to all
involved in the project!

Pat Cochran

Michelle Styles said...

Pat --

I am so pleased you loved the video. I love it as well.

I know that all of the M&B authors who are involved are very pleased and excited. As you might imagine authors love to read and the chance to try to open the world of reading up to other people is truly appealling.

max said...


I grew up as a reluctant reader. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for boys 8 and up, that kids hate to put down. My web site is at and my Books for Boys blog is at
Ranked by Accelerated Reader

Max Elliot Anderson