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Sheffield’s Year of Reading launches January 2020

lady reading a book
lady reading a book

Sheffield’s Year of Reading launches across the city on 15th January 2020 and will be a 12-month, citywide celebration of creativity and the written word.

Reading is the key that unlocks the door - it helps us feel better, discover more, and unleashes our individual creativity.

The Year of Reading will inspire us all about what reading can do for every one of us and the huge benefits that it brings to our everyday lives; how a story can take you to a faraway place in your head, imaginary or otherwise, or how reading a technical manual can help you build something amazing that you’ve never built before. How reading an autobiography can help inspire you to change your plans or fill you with admiration, or how a Sci-Fi read can help you escape you into mysterious and fantastic worlds.

Based on four themes: ‘Only Human, Rebellion’, ‘Exploration’ and ‘Creation’, the year will involve anyone who wants to be a part of it across the city. Everyone’s invited and everyone’s welcome.

To get us into the reading spirit, the launch will be set in the Central Library and will introduce ‘Sheffield’s Favourite Reads’; a citywide conversation about the books everyone loves. There will be an exhibition in the Central Library which will include the personal recommendations of numerous Sheffielders, including some well-known faces. Each person will highlight their favourite book and what it means to them.

From launch day onwards, people from across the city will be asked to tell us what their favourite read is and they will be in with a chance of winning a £100 book token if they take part. It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is, as long as it’s someone’s favourite. They will need to fill in a Year of Reading postcard in their library or tell us online before 31 March.

A shortlist will be drawn up on the 23rd April and an overall winner chosen in the autumn. More information is at:

As well as ‘Sheffield’s Favourite Reads’, people from all over the city will be invited to come together in libraries, pubs, schools, living rooms, museums, parks, and many other venues to share the simple joy of words. It will be literary and silly, it will be big and small, it will be on the page and in the streets. There will be lots of ways to get involved and more details will be available from January 2020.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “This is going to be a very special year. I’ve been listening to some of the planning that’s taking place and it really will be a city-wide, something for everyone, exciting time. Whether you read, you find reading difficult, or one of your new year resolutions is to get back into the swing of finding the time to read, we’ll have something for you.”