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Winter Reading Tips

The days are getting colder and the evenings are getting darker. Winter has arrived and our winter break is just around the corner. What a wonderful opportunity to curl up in an armchair with a warm drink and do some reading!

Author: Niamh Gaskin, Librarian

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Except, it’s been a long, stressful year and maybe your readers have less enthusiasm or patience for reading at the minute. Or perhaps the change of routine whenever your readers are out of school mean that they forget about reading entirely for a few weeks.

Here are some tips for keeping reading fun in Winter and during our Christmas break:

Reading Fort – is there space for a comfortable fort to be made out of pillows and sheets somewhere in your house? This could be the reading fort and as many of the family members as possible could go to this area for reading time on these cold evenings.

Your Librarian Recommends –  The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths for Grade 1+. A silly, well-illustrated book which can lead to some good discussions about what fantastical things you could add to your fort!


Flashlight/Torch Reading – to add an element of excitement and novelty to your reading (especially these days when it gets dark earlier), read in a darkened room with a torch as your only light for reading. This might help readers to focus on the book and eliminate distractions.

Your Librarian Recommends – Shine-A-Light book series for any age, where more information is revealed on the pages when you shine a torchlight through them. We have Shine-A-Light on the Library in our own library, but there are many other topics available, dinosaurs, the human body etc.


Timer – some of us just find it hard to sit still and focus for long periods of time. It might help to have a scheduled short reading time as part of your daily routine. Have an egg timer or find a suitable fun timer online, set aside 15 minutes that your reader understands is for sitting and enjoying a book together. You could read a book together, or you could read your own book but it is important for your reader to see that you also enjoy reading.

Your Librarian Recommends – Captain Pug by Laura James for Grade 2+. A funny, well-illustrated book of adventures for anyone looking for a funny read.


Family read aloud – Choose a book that everyone in your family can enjoy and take turns reading sections aloud.

Your Librarian Recommends – Coraline by Neil Gaiman for Grade 4 +. A spooky, gripping story that would keep readers of different ages enthralled.


Audiobooks – at times this year, I found it hard to focus which I’m sure many of us can relate to. For the first time ever, I started regularly borrowing audiobooks from the public library app and I loved it. Your reader can listen to audiobooks anywhere – while doing chores, while going for a walk, in the car on the way to school. If your reader is in a reading lull, audiobooks can ensure they keep up a love of stories, of learning new information and might inspire them to pick up a book again when they feel refreshed.

Your Librarian Recommends – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for Grade 9+, a magical heist adventure with fascinating characters. Available on the Borrowbox public library app with wonderful voice actors.


Graphic novels – graphic novels are worthwhile for any reader to enjoy; the visual element of storytelling can add another level of understanding or poignancy to a story. There are plenty of engaging graphic non-fiction books that help readers get a clearer understanding of historical events or how the world works. In our library, I try to emphasize our learner profile attribute of balanced to our students – ideally we should all try to read a mix of different genres and formats to allow for a broader perspective on the world.

Your Librarian Recommends – Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi for Grade 4+, a thrilling, magical adventure for any reader, this book is one of the most in demand in our library and is hard to keep on the shelves! These books are addictive.

Happy reading!