Record Breaking Attempt For Summer Reading Scheme This Saturday!

Central Bedfordshire Libraries will be attempting to help set a Guinness World Record as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge launch – the free annual event that aims to boost children’s reading skills and confidence.

This year’s theme is Record Breakers and libraries across the UK will attempt to set a new title for the ‘Most Pledges Received for a Reading Campaign’. Locally, you'll need to sign up in Houghton Regis Library  from 9am to 1pm on 11th July to count towards the record breaking attempt.

All children have to do is sign-up for the Challenge by pledging – or promising – to read at least six books. These can be whatever they like, from fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books and more – just as long as they are borrowed from the library.

Children can also sign up for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge at other libraries across Central Bedfordshire.

The annual Challenge is aimed at children of all ages, and their families, and this year runs through to 5th September. Young readers will collect rewards and stickers along the way as they discover the weird, wonderful and wacky records from around the world in six different categories:

  • Cool Tech, 
  • Way to Go! 
  • The Big Stuff 
  • Animal Magic 
  • People Power 
  • Action! Adventure! 

Last year, more that 52,000 books were read as part of the Challenge in Central Bedfordshire and, as an added bonus, Synergy Document Solutions is sponsoring all the books read and the money raised will go to Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice.

There will also be a series of events to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge with Animal Edutainment visiting all 12 Central Bedfordshire Libraries, including Houghton Regis Library on Tuesday 21 July 2:30 - 3:30pm. Expect a host of exotic record-breaking animals like a tarantula as big as your hand, plus an African bullfrog, Bosc monitor lizard, reticulated gargoyle gecko, chinchilla, bull snake, lesser hedgehog tenrec, uromastyx, cockroaches and a millipede. These events are for ages 4-12 years and tickets are £3 for children and free for adults.

Every child who reads 6 books can take part in a special character hunt, with a prize draw of a book token.

Families can download the free Record Breakers app and scan the characters to unlock audio-visual content such as videos, messages and games. Furthermore, the child who breaks the record for reading the most books at each library over the summer will win a family swim card; enabling two adults and three children to have ten free recreational swim sessions.

And, just for fun, children will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the life-sized image of the world’s tallest man – Sultan Kösen from Turkey – to see how they measure up. Visit for information on what is happening near you.

While the Challenge is designed to be fun, research has shown that it sees children return to school after the summer break as more fluent, confident and happy readers.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge has proved hugely popular over the years and we are proud to be taking part once again. This year’s theme of Record Breakers brings together fact and fiction, and challenges young readers to explore astonishing real-life achievements, world records and even attempt to be part of a new one.

“The challenge gives children a personal challenge that boosts confidence, self-esteem and their love of reading as part of a fun activity that can help keep them engaged during the summer holidays. Library staff and volunteers will be on hand to help, plus there is also an interactive website – – with a host of fun activities."

In 2014:
- In total 839,622 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge
- 44% of participants were boys
- Over 81,000 children signed up as new library members
- 8,126 young volunteers aged 12 to 24 supported the Challenge.

Pictures: © Dave Warren Picture Team 2015 for The Reading Agency and with thanks to Southwark Libraries, Canada Water Library and the children from Alfred Salter Primary School