A series of short and snappy books by authors from Wales will be available for free download this summer.

A series of short and snappy books by authors from Wales will be available for free download this summer.

From tales of amazing dogs to the challenges of extreme running and from a contemporary love story to a legendary lost world, the Books Council of Wales has made the four latest titles in the popular Quick Reads series available as e-books in association with publishers Y Lolfa and Rily.

And for one month only from 8 June – 8 July 2020, they can be downloaded free of charge from the new amam.cymru digital platform.

This year’s writers include extreme adventurer Huw Jack Brassington, author Cynan Llwyd, journalist and lecturer Ifan Morgan Jones, and author and journalist Alison Stokes.

The aim of the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn scheme is to get Wales reading with a selection of short, gripping books, which are also available in paperback format from bookshops and online booksellers for £1 each as well as through libraries.

Angharad Wyn Sinclair, Reading Promotions Project Manager at the Books Council of Wales, said: “As a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, we wanted to offer the new e-books free for the first time. These titles lend themselves perfectly to these turbulent times. They capture our imagination and transport us to another world, but they’re short enough to be read in a day or to pick up occasionally and enjoy a chapter at a time. What’s also great about Quick Reads is that they’re suitable for a wide range of readers, including those who may be more reluctant to pick up a book.”

Coordinated by the Books Council of Wales, the Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn scheme is supported by the Welsh Government to ensure that accessible, original material of interest to an audience in Wales is available in both English and Welsh.

Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams said “I’m delighted Books Council of Wales are providing these titles digitally and for free in light of the current pandemic. Whether these are used as a means of supporting learning, or just a means of escaping everyday realities, reading can be powerful, particularly in these strange and unsettling times.

“Part of our National Mission is to provide all learners with high level literacy skills, that form the foundations of all learning and are transferable into everyday life and the world of work. Literacy, numeracy and digital competence, will be mandatory cross-curricular skills within Curriculum for Wales 2022.”

Of the four titles being published this year, two are in Welsh and two in English, with one fiction and one non-fiction book in each language.

Herio i’r Eithaf – Huw Jack Brassington (Y Lolfa). Huw Jack Brassington challenges his mind and body to the limit in incredible races all over the world, such as the 47 Peaks, the Pioneer and the Coast to Coast. His story takes us to the world of triathlon, running and cycling, and he learns some hard lessons along the way.

Pobl Fel Ni – Cynan Llwyd (Y Lolfa). The story takes place over a period of 24 hours in Cardiff sometime in the near future, against a backdrop of racist rhetoric and attitudes, right-wing politics and a fragile economic situation. Lovers Nathan and Sadia attend a concert but are separated following an explosion at the event.

Hidden Depths – Ifan Morgan Jones (Rily). Rees has been running away all his life. But when a tale from his childhood turns out to be fact rather than fiction, he is drawn deeper into a hidden world that reveals a troubled truth – not only about his present, but also his past. The choice is clear: hold on or wait and fight.

Dogs for Life – Alison Stokes (Rily). They’re often our best friends and share a special bond with us. But what if your dog was more than just a pet? This book shares the stories of animals with very important jobs to do and shows how some amazing animals are changing the lives of loved ones.

All four titles will be available for free download from the amam.cymru platform from 8 June – 8 July, with paperback copies also available for purchase for £1 from bookshops across Wales, the Books Council’s gwales.com and other websites.

A wide selection of Quick Reads titles can also be borrowed from libraries, either as e-books or as hard copies, when normal services resume.