Skip to content
Translate page
Change text size
More +
Teachers and home educators

Reading for Pleasure

Our libraries are the perfect place to support children reading for pleasure. With 1000s of titles in stock, all free to borrow and reserve, there's something for every kind of reader.

What is Reading for Pleasure?

Reading for Pleasure is the reading that we do of our own free will, for the anticipation of the enjoyment that we will get from the act of reading.

Why is it important?

Whether or not a child reads for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of their future success, more than family circumstances, their parents educational background, or income.

Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations.

Reading for pleasure can reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life. It can make people feel more connected to the wider community, increase their understanding of their own identity, improve empathy and it gives readers an insight into the world view of others.

Reading activity sheets

Download or print our reading trail colouring sheets to help children celebrate their own reading choices and journeys.

Finding the right book at the right time

Often the key to reading for pleasure is the idea of finding the right books at the right time. Studies have shown that children develop greater motivation to read when they can choose their own reading matter, so it’s really important to have as wider choice of books available as possible by encouraging children to use the public library as well as the school library.

Choice can be overwhelming, but book covers are designed to be eye-catching and to tell you something about the book inside. If you have a library or book corner, display as many titles as possible face out and at eye-level.

Talking about books is a great way to grow your own knowledge and increase a child’s confidence in their reading choices. Ask questions like ‘what kind of books do you like reading? What was the last book you enjoyed? What did you like about it?’ and actively listen to the reply, sharing your own favourite reads too.

Take a look at this guidance from the Literacy Trust on choosing a good book:

  • Look - Browse the bookshelves and have a good look at the books.

  • Cover - Does the cover look interesting? Is it like books you've tried before?

  • Blurb - What does the blurb tell you? Does it make you want to read the book?

  • Genre - Is this the type of story you enjoy? Comedy, adventure, fantasy?

  • Try - Read a few pages. Do you want to know what happens next? It's okay to put it back if it doesn't feel right.

  • Count - Open the book and read a page. Every time you find a word you don't know, count one finger. If you get to five, the book is probably too hard.

  • Ask - Your librarian, teachers, parents, carers and friends can recommend you a book to read.


We regularly publish recommendations and reviews for all ages and genres.

The front page of our online catalogue displays all the new children’s books as they arrive in stock.

If the book you’re looking for isn’t on our catalogue, you can suggest a title to our stock team.

With so many different types of books available there something for everyone whatever mood they’re in! Take a look at our recommendations for children.


Popularity of audiobooks amongst children has more than doubled in the last few years. We have CD audiobooks on our catalogue and two digital platforms for borrowing digital audiobooks – BorrowBox and Libby.

According to the Literacy Trust, audiobooks are both accessible and great for sharing. You can listen a story as a family or alone regardless of reading ability.

They have all the benefits of reading for pleasure and also help with pronunciation.

Information books

Fact books are an increasingly exciting and engaging area of children’s publishing. The information contained is usually broken up into bite-sized chunks and illustrated so readers can dip in and out and they are great for sharing.

In addition to reading for pleasure, information books also encourage curiosity, critical thinking and knowledge-building about the world we live in.

As opposed to reading for homework or study, reading for pleasure represents learning as a fun activity where children can choose what they learn about.

Picture books for older readers (such as comics and graphic novels)

Picture Books for Older Readers encourage voracious reading habits, our most popular loaning titles are often from these series. They can be seen as easier reads as there are less words on the page, but they represent a rich and cinematic art form.

The interplay between picture and text on the page makes them especially engaging – they excel at comedy, excitement, poignancy and insight and are a great way to handle big concepts requiring interpretation.