Sheffield’s Year of Reading Launches This Month

Published: 12 January 2020
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. Helen Fidler tells us more...


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


The Year of Reading aim 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 auto-biography 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 libraries around the city, with many school children taking part in workshops with authors and Illustrators. Also launching will be ‘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, there is the opportunity for all individuals from across the city to share 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 to embrace a love of reading and the benefits it can provide, 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.


Helen Fidler (January 2020)

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