Manchester’s boxing hero, Ricky Hatton, has taken time out of his busy training schedule to help Manchester Libraries launch the National Year of Reading 2008.
The National Year of Reading is a nationwide initiative to help get the country reading and to join their local library where a variety of reading material is freely available to everyone.
From song lyrics to literary masterpieces, from theatre reviews to sports journalism, the key message is that reading is for everyone, a view endorsed by Ricky Hatton.
He said: " I keep my physical fitness through boxing and intense training but it's also important to keep your mind active, which is why I'm supporting the National Year of Reading and the work Manchester's libraries do to encourage people to read.
No matter who you are or what you're interested in, there is a book for you. I wrote my book to connect with sports fans everywhere and hopefully give them an insight into my life and what it takes to be a World Champion boxer."
Ricky's autobiography, The Hitman: My Story is available at libraries across Manchester, which cater for a wide-range of reading tastes.
Reading is a valuable skill helping to develop imagination, build confidence and to aid learning, and so, to encourage as many people as possible to pick up a book, libraries across Manchester will be holding a number of exciting events in the coming months to celebrate the National Year of Reading.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Assistant Executive Member for Arts & Leisure said: "Reading offers so many possibilities - escapism, knowledge, information - and it doesn't matter what people read so long as they do. We hear so much about 'brain training' these days and reading is the ideal way to do this and best of all, if you join your local library, it's absolutely free."
The variety of services offered by local libraries has increased significantly in recent years, with free internet access, advice and support, holiday clubs, revision sessions and family events all held regularly throughout Manchester.
Anyone wanting to become a member of Manchester Libraries can join at any library in the city or even from the comfort of their own home by joining online. The website also includes online reference, search, renew and reserve facilities for ease and convenience.
For more information on Manchester's Library service and Information Service visit our web site and for the National Year of Reading log on to www.yearofreading.org.uk
Claire Keegan, tel 0161 234 4014