Routes into Reading

21 April 2023

Congratulations – you’re on the Road to Reading! However, you might be finding this journey a little daunting. You may be thinking that you need to buy a really big book to prove to yourself and others that you mean business. Or perhaps you simply don’t know where to start, intimidated by the road ahead and how seemingly long and winding it is. If you either of these are you, don’t worry – there’s no need to panic. No two reading journeys are the same and it’s completely up to you which road you take. Still unsure where to start?

To help you on your way, let’s fire up the satnav and take a look at some recommended routes to help you get started on your reading journey!

1. Short Stories

Short stories are self-explanatory – they’re entire stories, and they’re short! They’re punchy, to the point and often end with a big twist. A good place to start would be with the short stories of Agatha Christie. Known as ‘The Queen of Crime,’ Christie wrote many novels featuring Hercule Poirot, her most famous creation, including Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile which have both both recently been adapted for film. If you enjoyed these films, or maybe even the ‘Knives Out’ films starring Daniel Craig, why not pick up a copy of The Double Clue and Other Hercule Poirot Stories, one of the books for this year’s World Book Night? Featuring a selection of Agatha Christie’s greatest short stories, they’re all gripping, unpredictable and leave you wanting more.

Other examples of shorter fiction for World Book Night this year are Wish You Were Dead by Peter James and Dreda Say Mitchell’s One False Move (for the thrill-seekers), Paris for One by Jojo Moyes (for those after a little romance in their lives) and Roddy Doyle’s Dead Man Talking (for those looking for a laugh). These are all part of The Reading Agency’s Quick Reads series; short books and great stories written by bestselling authors.

2. Audiobooks

Having a book read to you can be a different experience from reading either a print book or an e-book. But it can be an ideal route into reading, particularly if you find it difficult to focus on words on a page, or are looking for something to listen to while doing other things. Podcast fans, audiobooks are for you! And yes, we count listening to an audiobook as reading!

Unsure of what to listen to first? Well, four of our books for this year’s World Book Night are available as a free download! These are David Harewood’s Maybe I Don’t Belong Here, Catherine Simpson’s One Body: A Retrospective, Isabel Hardman’s The Natural Health Service and The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns.

3. Graphic Novels

Like a short story, a graphic novel is what it says on the tin – it’s a novel told using images, usually in a comic-strip format. Famous examples are Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons (which features on Time Magazine’s Top 100 All-Time Novels list). Incredibly accessible and enjoyable, graphic novels are unique in their ability to tell stories in a way that you don’t usually get on the printed page. A perfect route into reading!

Graphic novels have featured in previous World Book Nights. Check out Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi or Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges, featuring the work of various British comic-book talents such as John Wagner and Brian Bolland.

There are far more routes into reading than the few mentioned here. Perhaps you’d prefer to read a newspaper, magazine, or maybe even that old recipe book you have lying around somewhere. Remember, there are many roads to choose from on your reading journey – you just need to find the one that suits you!

This is the first blog in a weekly series written for World Book Night by Joe Fort.


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