Authors challenged to celebrate reading

<p>Authors are being asked to visit locations from prisons to garden centres as part of a new initiative from the National Year of Reading, the &quot;Author Challenge&quot;.</p><p>The NYR is calling on all authors to commit to doing three new things during the course of the year to promote and celebrate reading. Suggested activities include encouraging people to join a library by becoming a membership recruiter for the day, and reaching out to new audiences by visiting a setting the author has never been to before, whether it be a library, school, supermarket, garden centre, hospital, prison or business.</p><p>Meanwhile A &amp; C Black will publish quarter of a million copies of a bespoke children&#39;s reading guide for the NYR&#39;s library campaign, which kicks off in April. The 128-page guide will be made up of extracts from three existing titles by the publisher: <em>The Ultimate First Book Guide: Over 500 Great Books for 0&ndash;7s</em> by Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn and Susan Reuben; and two older reading guides, <em>The Ultimate Book Guide: Over 600 Great Books for 8&ndash;12s</em> by Hahn, Flynn and Anne Fine; and <em>The Ultimate Teen Book Guide: over 700 Great Books </em>by Hahn, Flynn and David Almond.</p><p>The guide will be distributed through libraries as part of the NYR&#39;s drive to up library membership, the first consumer-facing campaign of the Year.</p>