02 April 2019
#HappyReading volunteer with school student

#HappyReading is a global campaign, celebrating the connection that readers worldwide have to their most beloved book.

Featuring the favourite books of dozens of readers, from artists and authors to booksellers and members of the public, the campaign is a global call-out for readers submissions and will culminate in a massive summer moment.

In March, Penguin Classics launched Happy Reading: The Penguin Classics Shop, its first ever pop-up shop in London to celebrate reading for pleasure and the special books that impact our lives.

Showcasing the range and diversity of world literature, a single copy of each of the 1,257 books in the Penguin Classics list was displayed face out. Happy Reading was both a shop and a cultural space for readers to explore, discuss and challenge the literary canon.

Volunteers talking with students

During the week, the space hosted a range of events and workshops, including a partnership with the National Literacy Trust and a full programme of sold out panel discussions.

Sam Voulters, Creative Director at Penguin Press spoke about the importance of Penguin Classics in today's landscape: 'We want to break Classics out of the classroom and celebrate these books that have created culture, changed lives and thrilled and entertained readers through the years.'

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, added: 'We know that children and young people who enjoy reading do better at school, at work and in life. Books give children the words, ideas and knowledge they need to flourish, which is why we were so thrilled to be working with Penguin Classics to introduce these books to a new generation of readers. Filled with characters, experiences, emotions and perspectives that are still relevant today, the classics provide something to inspire every young person to fall in love with reading for a lifetime.'

Volunteers and students at Happy Reading

Olivia Anderson, Senior Marketing Executive at Penguin Press shared her experience volunteering at the National Literacy Trust workshops:

'For the Penguin Classics Happy Reading pop-up in late March, Penguin Classics partnered with the National Literacy Trust to run two workshops as part of the pop-up's week-long programme of events. The workshops were designed to give students an opportunity to discuss reading for pleasure whilst meeting working role models from Penguin and developing valuable employability skills.

50 students took part in the workshops over two days which were led by the National Literacy Trust and volunteers from across the various divisions and departments of Penguin Random House.

The structure of each workshop was built around the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work flagship literacy and employability programme that teaches young people the literacy and communication skills they need to reach their potential. The students were asked to introduce themselves, followed by interviews with the volunteers discussing their roles, how they use literacy in the workplace and which literary characters have inspired them. At the end of the day all 50 students were invited to peruse the 1,200+ Penguin Classics and take home a book of their choosing.'

Students taking part in National Literacy Trust workshop

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