City libraries lay down a literary gauntlet to health conscious Aberdonians

Avid - and less avid - Aberdonian readers are being set a literary health challenge by the city’s libraries next month in a unique competition, it was announced today (Thursday 29 March).

The Six Minute Reading Challenge kicks off on World Book Night (Monday 23 April) and runs until the end of May. Aberdeen City Libraries are challenging people to take part by reading for a minimum of six minutes every day during that period.

Participants can choose to send in evidence at the end or interact with the Libraries on social media throughout the challenge using the hashtag #ACL6mins to receive a certificate and be entered into a prize draw.

Reading for pleasure has been found to have many health benefits, with some research claiming that reading something you enjoy for just 6 minutes can reduce stress levels by up to two thirds. Pleasurable reading has also been linked to increased self-esteem, improved sleep and reduced feelings of loneliness.

Councillor John Wheeler, Education Operational Delivery Convener, said: “This is a fabulous idea from our City Libraries team and it’s a health challenge that doesn’t require too much physical effort!

“It’s not just about reading books either - participants can read whatever they like; newspapers, magazines and graphic novels all count. The important thing is to enjoy what you are reading.

For those who are not sure what to read, the city’s libraries have a team of staff who can provide suggestions based on individual reading preferences and needs. There will also be regular tips and suggestions on the libraries’ social media channels.

Susan Bell, Service Development Manager, Aberdeen City Libraries, said: “Reading for pleasure is a great way to reduce stress levels and with a wealth of reading material to choose from in libraries, we invite you to participate in this new and exciting challenge for just six minutes a day.”

Anyone wishing to take part should register at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/health between Tuesday 3 April 2018 and Monday 23rd April.