Anthony Horowitz virtually visited schools across Swindon to encourage reading for wellbeing.
The visit by the author of the best-selling Alex Rider and Power of Five book series was part of the #Take10ToRead challenge and Connecting Stories.
Connecting Stories is a new initiative delivered by the National Literacy Trust and led by the trust's Swindon Stories.
The Arts Council England-funded project aims to increase children and young people’s access to literary experiences and books.
Children and adults across Swindon stopped what they were doing to pick up a book and read for 10 minutes.
The author told his audience he found reading “...a wonderful way to escape from the world into a safer, happier, more enjoyable place.”
He encouraged the children to follow their passions and to always do what they love.
In a Q&A session with the children, Anthony revealed his favourite place to read was in bed, and added: “I start each day, every morning, I read a book – or part of a book, a chapter or page of a book, depending on how I’m feeling.
"In the morning I start by reading a bit of a story and when I get out of bed I feel happier.”
Schools and local businesses participated in the challenge, sharing images on social media with the hashtag #Take10ToRead in order to promote the importance of reading.
Across the nation, 100,000 children and adults took part.
The Alex Rider series has been adapted for television and the first season is available to watch on Amazon Prime. Anthony has won numerous awards including Children’s Book of the Year and the Red House Children’s Book Award.
Connecting Stories is billed as a calendar full of exciting and engaging events, including author workshops, walk and talk trails and competitions.
Most recently, in partnership with Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Connecting Stories held a virtual exhibition to showcase creative writing from children across Swindon.
More information about the exhibition and future Connecting Stories events can be found at https://literacytrust.org.uk/communities/swindon/connecting-stories/