Essex Year of Reading challenge

Mick Ferris

Where’s the most unusual place you can think of to read a book? Is it on a paddleboard or perhaps standing on your head?

The Essex Year of Reading, a campaign created to instil a lifelong love of reading, is challenging the people of Essex to read in unusual places this summer.

The campaign, which was developed by the Essex Education Task Force, is calling for residents to share a photo of themselves, a family member or friend, while reading in weird and wonderful places across the county.

The aim is to inspire and excite children, young people and families to continue reading during the holidays and see where their books might take them this summer.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council cabinet member for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability, said: “Reading is essential to all areas of education and being able to access other opportunities in life. We want to inspire people of all ages to get creative and see how fun and enjoyable it can be too.

“We’re calling on parents, grandparents and carers to encourage their children to do something different and also get involved themselves. Not only is the challenge a great way to improve your reading skills, it’s also an exciting way to explore our great county.”

The ‘Reading in Unusual Places’ challenge is open to children, young people and adults. Ideas might include reading under a tree, whilst relaxing on the beach or by an outstanding landmark.

Children could even dress-up as a monkey, whilst reading a book on animals at the zoo or get the whole family involved and dress up as characters from their favourite book at the beach. Participants could also share a picture of themselves reading while doing their favourite hobby.

The challenge runs until Friday September 2. To enter, simply share your picture to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadingInUnusualPlaces, or tag @EssexCountyCouncil on Facebook.

The most weird and wonderful photos will be featured on Essex County Council’s social media channels.

To discover more about the campaign, visit


Mick Ferris

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