Scotland’s first ever national reading moment Keep the Heid and Read! has been hailed a resounding success with nearly 75,000 readers pledging to read over 456,000 minutes between them.

Thousands of people throughout Scotland pledged to read for just six minutes on Wednesday 11 May to boost their mental health and wellbeing. The national initiative was led by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) in partnership with Mental Health Foundation Scotland and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) with support from Baillie Gifford. It encourages people of all ages and abilities to read every day with research showing reading for six minutes a day can reduce stress by 68 per cent.

Improving Mental Health

Keep the Heid and Read! Took place during Mental Health week 2022 and highlighted the positive and easy-to-implement changes people can take to establish a regular reading habit and reduce stress. Scotland’s public library services, schools, colleges, universities, community groups and societies, all took part in the popular initiative. 

Pamela Tulloch, SLIC Chief Executive at SLIC, said: “Reading for pleasure can have a huge impact on our mental health, and we’re delighted that so many people pledged their support and took part in the national reading moment.

“Libraries throughout Scotland really got behind the initiative, helping people to reconnect with their library services. We hope Keep the Heid and Read! has helped to highlight the many benefits of reading and what Scotland’s libraries can offer.”

is part of the campaign a pop-up library visited different locations throughout Scotland including The Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow and Aberdeen City Centre. People who pledged their minutes could also enter a free prize draw to win booktokens while many public libraries organised local photography competitions. 

Find out more about Keep The Heid and Read