Quick Read is Entry to Learning

Quick Reads reveal the magic of reading and open the doorway to learning for many people  

Training Readers  

One of my memories from school is being told that the more I read the better my writing would become. It is not something that I paid much attention to, until I started working as a training officer in a large manufacturing company.

I had started my career at the bottom of the pay scales in a public sector organisation. It was the sort of place where everyone seemed to spend a large part of their day either writing or reading something or another.

Not only were we reading at work, we were also reading at home, and often talked about the books we had read or were reading. There was even talk of setting up a book club.

What this meant for my burgeoning career as a trainer was that I could present people with pre course reading and be confident that it would be read. I could also give people guidebooks that removed the need for training courses. Perhaps most importantly I could give people reading lists that allowed people to prepare themselves for progression within the organisation.

Training when people don’t or won’t read

Things changed when I progressing my own career meant that a move into the distribution industry and then another move into a manufacturing organisation.

People who worked in these industries were reluctant to undertake any training.

Any training that they would agree to participate in had to be in a classroom and self-contained. There could be no pre-reading or pre-work ahead of the class and nothing that might be seen as follow-up either.

Before the training I had to make sure that they were also entertained. But that is another story.

The challenge for me was that the training courses took longer and were therefore more difficult to justify to senior managers. But how do you shorten a training course when you must first make sure everyone is at the same starting point, and they universally refuse to do any pre-course reading?

Present day training

Today’s workforce is more diverse than it was back then. Nowadays a trainer must also deal with the challenges of training people who speak English as a second language. They may read and write perfectly well in their first language, but the workplace operates in English, so their safety and career prospects, perhaps even their employment itself might be adversely affected by their ability to read and write in English.

Even more important was how to you provide people with a reminder of their training, that might relate to their health and safety if they refuse to read a machine manual or perhaps find reading signs difficult.

Why is reading a problem?

Why, I kept on asking myself, are people so reluctant to read a page of A4?

The answer is that people are reluctant to read when they don’t like reading. And people don’t like reading when they find it difficult.

One in six

The reality is that one in six adults in the United Kingdom, that is about 9million people, find reading difficult. Reducing that number and increasing the number of people who read for pleasure are challenges that the Reading Agency, a charity funded by the Arts Council has taken on.

Quick Reads

15 years ago, the Reading Agency launched the Quick Reads collection.

Quick Reads are proper books, with proper stories written by top bestselling and well-known authors.

The key thing about a Quick Read is that they are written to encourage people to read. No more than 100 pages and certainly less than a centimetre thick these paperback books are intended to inspire people to get into the reading habit with entertaining and accessible stories by the very best contemporary writers.

Accessibility refers to not just the story and the style of writing. The price is also accessible, with books costing just £1.

5 million

Since the launch of Quick Reads in 2006 over 5million books have been distributed.

That number is set to increase dramatically this year following the decision by bestselling author Jojo Moyes to finance an initiative that will see for every book sold another book donated to help someone else to discover both the joy and power of reading.

2021 Books

Book added to the Quick Reads catalogue this year include:

How I use Quick Reads

I have been using Quick Reads ever since they were launched. I leave them around training rooms, refer to the Quick Read stories and use the characters to explain the points I am covering in the course.

My experience is that helping people to improve their reading gives them confidence. I have seen people become more curious, which I suppose is the starting pount for learning.

I can say with confidence that sharing Quick Reads at work have helped my work as a trainer.


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Leave a Reply