Readers’ Voices – the Next Generation

After Steel City Readers, our now published work on the period 1925-1955, we would like to invite readers to record in the form of a personal reading journey their experiences of reading in Sheffield between 1955 and 1975.

A reading journey is a written account of your reading memories, which we will publish on our blog as part of our research on the next generation of Sheffield readers. We provide some prompts below based on the questions we asked our original readers, together with a few additions we have thought of since. Here are our prompts, which we hope just get you started, as well as providing us with comparable reading journeys from a range of different readers:

  • Did anyone read to you when you were young? How, when, who? What kind of books?
  • What kind of books did you most like? Why?
  • Where did you get your books from? Family member, library, friend, school or?
  • Did anyone encourage you to read?
  • Did anyone ever make you feel that reading was a waste of time?
  • Did you ever read anything because you thought it would ‘improve’ you in any way?
  • What were the first books you read that made you feel you were now reading grown-up / adult books?
  • How would you describe your adult reading tastes?
  • Were there books you read when a child or younger adult that you wouldn’t dream of reading again? Why not?
  • Did cinema ever influence your reading? Did you ever go to see a film of a book you had read? (or read a book of a film?). We didn’t ask this question for the 1925-1955 project – but maybe we should have done!
  • One big change since 1925-1955 is that television has become a huge form of entertainment (and more?). Did TV ever influence your reading? Did you watch things because you had read the book, or read the book because you’d enjoyed a TV adaptation?
  • Where and when did you find time to read?
  • Why is reading important to you (if it is!)?
  • Are there any ways in which reading has changed your life?

We want you to tell your own unique story about reading, in your own style and your own words. Generally, reading journeys of about 1000 words are a good read, with enough space from some detail, but a bit more or a bit less is fine too! If you would like to contribute to ‘Steel City Readers – the Next Generation, 1955-1975’, just email us your reading journey to: We would love to hear from you, and we’re happy to answer questions and advise you.