Giving the Gift of Books

Giving the gift of books to
people facing life on the streets

Books offer a lifeline for people facing homelessness. With your help we will source and buy the books people really want.

Streetreads takes books and stories to people affected by homelessness.  Stories offer a great way to escape the realities of trauma and tough times, a chance to lose yourself in another world, to find solace, adventure, new horizons.  They also help us start conversations and build the connections that are vital to recovery from homelessness.

Our Streetreads volunteers
Our Streetreads volunteers

Like all of our services, Streetreads is personal and tailored.  We work closely with people on the street and in emergency accommodation to find out what interests them, what they want to read and what book format works best for them – written or audio, in English or in another language. This means we can source and deliver exactly what is wanted and needed. We gift books in new or mint condition so that our readers know it is a present offered with love and respect. 

Streetreads already operates year-round in Edinburgh, and at Christmas in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  With your support we are getting ready to expand our services in both cities.  We look forward to opening  a purpose built library waiting to welcome our Edinburgh readers, and a new Streetreads library and storytelling space in Glasgow.  

I’ve been a long-time fan of Streetreads and have seen first-hand the great work they do. Books can transport us anywhere, to times and worlds that excite and stimulate. That’s hugely important, no matter who you are or what your circumstances.”
– Ian Rankin
Streetreads is a humble, but brilliant project.  It’s helped me a lot… to meet new people, that boosted my confidence.  Through books I have improved my knowledge of myself and my skills.  Books helped me to focus on something positive during dark moments, inspiring me and giving me new ideas and a different vision of life.
“Thank you so much for all the patience and passion you bring every day to the project.  I’m looking forward to seeing further developments of Streetreads when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal.”
– Dan, Streetreads Reader

Our Streetreads readers with their books

Streetreads Christmas 2020

Douglas Stuart
Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain

For Christmas 2020 year our staff and volunteers deliverws gifts of lovingly-wrapped books to 500 people experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  We were thrilled to have been gifted 300 copies of the 2020 Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain, thanks to the generous support of author Douglas Stuart and his publisher Picador/Pan Macmillan.   Our Streetreads team has also tracked down 200 books to match special requests from our readers.

Your donations will also help us to source and buy the books people really want, host storytelling events, support readers, and purchase reading glasses, audio books and the tech to listen to them.  To support Streetreads and help us reach more people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, please donate via our JustGiving page.

Shuggie Bain can speak to so many by reflecting a lived experience that is not often enough represented in books, and ultimately offer some hope. We are very grateful to Streetreads who not only provide support and accommodation to those on the streets but also help them to open up new horizons through books and reading, and we hope that the gift of Shuggie Bain and his story will help them in their vital outreach.”
–  Sara Lloyd, Digital & Communications Director, Pan Macmillan

We are so grateful to everyone who gives their support and encouragement to Streetreads, including:

  • Ian Rankin – author
  • Douglas Stuart – author
  • Picador/Pan Macmillan
  • Kerry Hudson – author

Contact Us

Email Us:
Tweet Us: @streetreads
Call us: 0131 344 0825

Photos of our readers on this page by Bash Khan. All Rights Reserved.
Photos of Douglas Stuart and Shuggie Bain provided by Pan Macmillan.