Leeds Loves Reading – Advice, Tips and Tricks!

Leeds loves reading

If you are staying inside, have children, are working from home or would simply like to read more, we have a few ideas that will help you along the way. Happy reading!

Scroll down for advice on reading, podcasts, children’s resources and more.



Reading books is a way to get lost in another world, learn something new or relieve boredom. Reading can also help our mental health and wellbeing. It can reduce your levels of stress, ease muscle tension and alter your state of mind.


Remember, there are no rules with reading, you are allowed to read a book over and over again, look at the pictures, or not finish it if it is not for you!


Check out a few reading recommendations below from our colleagues.


Helen recommends ‘A man called Ove’ by Fredik Backman. “It’s one of my favourite books as it’s so heart-warming and honest. It’s not a dramatic story at all, but a human story about a grumpy old man who ends up forming unlikely friendships in his neighbourhood. It’s an overall positive book about loss, and companionship.”

Sadiya recommends ‘Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.’ “The description, the detail, the mind wondering chapters made me want to enjoy every moment I had in this world and do something good.”

Chris Recommends ‘The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, “Best book ever! Intrigue, mystery, drama and humour – what more do you want?”

Amelia recommends ‘The Book Seller of Kabul’ by Åsne Seierstad. “Fantastic read, each characters story was interesting, some heart-breaking, and kept me intrigued throughout.”

Mary recommends ‘In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park’. “I had to read the book in one sitting and has inspired me through her resounding strength to remain positive.”

Phil recommends ‘Watership Down by Richard Adams’ “It is brilliantly written and still has the power to engage and move me.”

Matt recommends ‘Redwall’ by Brian Jaques. “Book is warm and world is immersive. Lots of lovely morals for children about kindness, bravery and working together. Taught me lots interesting things about British woodland creatures than I did not know.”



Do you have a load of books you haven’t got round to reading? Why not give yourself a reading challenge?



Podcasts are audio programmes that you can subscribe to on your smartphone or laptop/PC. Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn new things, have a giggle and lift your spirits. You can access Podcasts for free from Spotify, Apple Podcasts (iPhone), Google Podcasts (Android), Pocketcasts and other apps and websites. If you love an episode, don’t forget to subscribe so the latest shows and episodes automatically download.


Penguin have a great list of Podcasts for book lovers here – https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2019/feb/the-best-literary-podcasts-for-book-lovers/


BBC Sounds has an array of binge worthy podcasts and radio shows. Listen via the link or download the app. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds


Colleagues recommend:


  • Mental Conversations – conversations around all things mental health (with a bit of humour thrown in)
  • Tougher Minds – founder Dr Jon Finn talks about wellbeing and productivity tips whilst working from home.
  • Football Ramble Daily – everything football
  • How I Built This – about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.
  • The Secret History of the Future – every week they look at history to look at where we might be heading in the future.
  • That Peter Crouch Podcast – guide to being a professional footballer
  • Stuff You Should Know – Where did trick or creating come from? How do you become a beekeeper? Find out on this fascinating podcasts
  • Table Manners – Jessie Ware talks about food, family, and the beautiful art of having a chat, direct from her dinner table.
  • The Gemma Collins Podcast – Hilarious podcast by Gemma Collins


Did you know you can download the Kindle App on your phone or tablet, even if you don’t have a Kindle?

Information about Leeds Library

Want to join the library? You can do it online here: http://leeds.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/joining-the-library…

You’ll receive a temporary card number & can set your own pin. Then you can use our e-reading options, which are free & a great way to spend time, learn something new or look after your wellbeing from the comfort of your own home.

If you already have a library membership, Leeds Libraries have added a number of extra titles for children and young people to their eBook collections. Books can also be downloaded by multiple people at the same time, meaning that you don’t have to wait for someone else to finish reading them!

Leeds School Library Service staff are also working with Leeds Libraries to support schools & families during this challenging time, & are publishing a weekly newsletter full of resource ideas. leedsforlearning.co.uk/Article/73018

You can also now access NEWSPAPERS as well as magazines for FREE via @RBdigitalUK. You just need your library card & pin number. You can read online or download & enjoy unlimited checkouts. rbdigital.com/leeds/service/ leeds.gov.uk/leisure/librar

Follow Leeds Libraries on Twitter @leedslibraries for updated information


Sharing picture books with your children is a great way to spend time reading with your child. Yes picture books! Even if the book has no words, it is a great way to spend time with your child and tell your own story through the pictures. There is never a right or wrong way to share a story.



You can download eBooks, eAudio, magazines and comics for free if you are a member, all you need is your library card and pin.





Ways you can help


  • Have a clear out! When this is all over, you can donate your old books to us or to your local charity shop
  • Donate to reading charities such as ‘Read for Good’, a national charity that enables school children to run sponsored reads to raise money for children’s books in hospital. https://readforgood.org/
  • Please support your local bookshop! Some are still taking online orders. We have a great list of them here https://leeds-list.com/culture/best-independent-book-shops-in-leeds/.
  • You can also shop online on Hive.co.uk who supports an independent bookshop with every sale they make


Did you know you can check out the #FreeBookResources hashtag to find free literacy and book resources?


For Children and young people

Click here to visit the Year of Reading website here for longer list of updated resources




  • Check out their article which has helpful tips on how to enjoy story time together https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/reading-tips/



  • com have daily free resources and times events for children, teachers and families, this can be accessed from the comfort of your own home!


  • Book Island Books have collated free picture book resources for you to use and share https://mailchi.mp/b2e8f885eef2/free-resources-for-self-isolating-readers-kickstarter-update


  • The British Library has recently launched their exciting brand new site, Discovering Children’s Books. It’s a free resource for children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages and explores centuries of stories, poems and illustrations. https://www.bl.uk/childrens-books


  • Timeout also have a list of virtual storytime for children and families https://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/news/virtual-storytimes-for-kids-authors-and-venues-go-online-amid-coronavirus-031620


  • Some people hosting scheduled live instagramming workshops. Check out @Sarahcrossanwriter who is running short poetry workshops to get young people writing


  • World Book Online have just made their fabulous collection of over 3,000 ebooks and audiobooks available for free for children to access at home. They have books suitable for all ages. Click on the following link to access them. https://worldbook.kitaboo.com/reader/worldbook/index.html?usertoken=Mjk5MzQ6MTpJUjA5MjAxNjoyOmNsaWVudDE2OTc6MTY5NzoyMjE2Mjg4OjE6MTU4NDM4MDExMzA2Mjp1cw==…


Please don’t forget to tweet us @LeedsYoR and use the hashtag #Leedslovesreading

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