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15th November 2016

The BBC’s #lovetoread campaign

James Blower introduces the BBC’s new scheme #lovetoread and encourages students to take up the challenge

Reading is one of life’s great pleasures; delving into a good novel can inspire, provoke thought and discussion, stretch your imagination and let it run wild, not just as a wide-eyed child but throughout adulthood too. Studies by The Reading Agency have shown that reading for pleasure plays a greater part in a child’s development than a general school education does. Using the power of social media, the BBC hopes to reinstate the value of reading to adults, teenagers and children alike.

This month has seen the BBC launch a campaign named #lovetoread in an attempt to get the nation talking about which books matter the most to them. They want to encourage people to turn off their televisions this autumn and to instead curl up on the sofa with a good novel.

After having spent the summer months lounging around the pool, reading book after book, most students set themselves resolutions about trying to read more over the coming academic year. As the nights grow ever longer we wonder whether these well-meant resolutions are being kept.

Campaigns like the BBC’s #lovetoread are essential because of the necessity to inspire a generation who are able to reach, more than ever, for an infinite number of screen-based forms of entertainment. The BBC has always placed a great emphasis on authors and books but this campaign is designed to make reading for pleasure a greater priority. Using radio, television and online presence as well as combining forces with regional and national literary organisations like The Reading Agency, the BBC are well and truly on a quest to inspire.

Up and down the country, local libraries are hosting events and promoting new book clubs to engage the local community and bring people together through a love for literature. Simon Mayo is running a spin-off of the highly popular Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs but is instead ‘casting away’ authors Marian Keyes, David Nicholls, Jilly Cooper and Ian Rankin. He asks them which books played an influential part in their lives, delving deep into their diverse and fascinating imaginations.

BBC2 on Saturday nights for the last few weeks has been literature night with many literature-related programs celebrating authors, books and much more. All are still available on iPlayer but if you are taking heed of the BBCs message to cut down TV time and have not got time to catch up on all of their shows, the pick of the bunch is The Secret Life of Sue Townsend Aged 68 ¾, which follows the life of Adrian Mole’s creator, and is narrated by Julie Walters.

So why not re-ignite those summer resolutions and, with an open mind, tune into one of BBCs radio or television shows that are all so conveniently stored on iPlayer? Be prepared to be inspired once again by the pure joys of reading.

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