Read Hour returns to the UK this September

The renowned Finnish literacy initiative, Read Hour, will be returning to the UK on 8th September following an incredible first year! 

This year Read Hour UK is expanding its reach with events across the UK and a widening network of partner organisations as well as support from an amazing group of celebrities and authors including Matt Lucas, Greg James, Sam Sedgman, Esther Freud, Chris Smith, Rob Biddulph, Lydia Monks, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Andrew Donkin.

In the UK, there will be a number of events during Read Hour that families can attend including a fun-filled storytelling session on 10th September to stimulate young imaginations with authors Chris Smith and Greg James at Chiswick Book Festival and two events at Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill. The first of the two events on September 8th is with storyteller, Liz Fost, who will be bringing to life the Moomin tales and characters at 11 am. The second event begins at 4 pm with author Anna James for the publication of her new book The Tree House Library. She will be reading and sharing her writing process and signing books later in the day. Liz Fost will also be making her way to Sussex for another storytelling session at 4pm at Bag of Books in Lewes.

Read Hour is celebrated on UN International Literacy Day and was created by Finland’s Children and Youth Foundation with a mission to encourage people to spend just one hour of their day on reading, whether that be a book, magazine, or comic book – everything is encouraged. 

This is a part of the Moomin initiative “Reading, Writing and the Moomins“. It is a multiannual, international initiative to spread the joy of reading and writing around the world with the help of Moomin stories. The initiative brings together charity organisations and companies all around the world.

For children and adults alike, taking ownership of reading is one of the important steps to enjoying and embracing the world of reading and writing so, this year there is a focus on the cultivation of “reading nooks” – a dedicated space for reading to help incorporate it into daily routines. 

The official Read Hour will be held at 2pm-3pm, but anyone unable to take part then is encouraged to hold their own Read Hour at any time that suits them on 8th September. Reading alone and reading together with a family member, friend, classmates or colleagues are equally encouraged. 

Anyone taking part should share a photo of themselves or the book they are reading on social media using the hashtag #ReadHourUK. A range of Read Hour resources are available here for bookshops, schools, and libraries that would like to take part in the initiative. Assets about how to create reading nooks are available from Read Hour UK partner, World Book Day, here

Happy reading!