This month Brighton and Hove are celebrating City Reads. City Reads is part of the Collective Works CIC, which is an award winning organisation based in Brighton. It specialises in delivering innovative projects, events and activities around shared reading. City Reads, and Young City Reads, are its largest projects. It’s a non-profit organisation that promotes reading across the community. City Reads encourages the people of Brighton and Hove to read the same book, essentially creating a City Wide book club. Young Reads came about in 2013 and has continued ever since and aims at helping all young people to read, regardless of their age or ability. In the past, Collective Works have organised events such as Reading to Recovery, helping those with mental illnesses to get into reading as a way of aiding their recovery. Another one of their initiatives is setting up community reading groups for those who may be isolated or have become socially excluded. Trained by volunteers, all books are read aloud making the community book clubs completely inclusive. Between 2011 and 2014, almost 14,000 people actively participated in events and activities. This year’s book is the critically acclaimed ‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig. Matt Haig has written books including The Radleys, The Last Family in England and Reasons to Stay Alive, to name but a few. Matt Haig won the Nestle Smarties Prize in 2007 and has been nominated twice for the Carnegie Medal as well as a nomination for the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2014. Events have already started but there are so many more that are taking place across the city for the next few weeks from a Book Quiz, a Book Swap and a discussion on ‘The Humans’ by twenty writers from the Brighton Literary scene.
Read Aloud is a project in which people are invited to an informal group where they can take turns in reading sections of a chosen novel, short story or poem, if they choose to do so, though some choose to sit and listen. Each group is led by two trained volunteers and are scattered across Brighton and Hove libraries. As well as this, City Reads have set up Read Aloud groups to target certain members of the community with specific needs, for example, Active 60 set up groups for those over 60 living in Brighton and Hove.
To find out more about City Reads, the events, or Read Aloud, head over to http://collectedworks.co.uk/
for more information.