How it works

Reading Chest is a book swapping service for children learning to read. After an initial delivery of 4 or 6 reading books depending on your subscription package, simply return the books in the pre-paid envelope and wait for some more to arrive in the post.

Step 1: Choose your subscription package

Our packages are designed to meet different needs, depending on how many times you think you would like to swap your books and how many children are sharing the account. (It is only our silver and gold packages that can be shared between siblings as they allow more than one book list to be created.)

Bronze Package

bronze rosette

Initial delivery of 4 books

2 swaps a month.

Based on returning 3 books at a time, this will give you up to 6 books each month.

Can make 1 book list*

*A good supply for 1 reader. All books selected will be at the same reading level.

Silver Package

silver rosette

Initial delivery of 6 books

4 swaps a month.

Based on returning 3 books at a time, this will give you up to 12 books each month.

Can make 1 or 2 book lists*

*If desired, the allocation of 6 books can be shared between 2 siblings at different reading levels.

Gold Package

gold rosette

Initial delivery of 6 books

Unlimited swaps!

You can return up to 3 books at a time as often as you like giving you unlimited books!

Can make 1, 2 or 3 book lists*

*If desired, the allocation of 6 books can be shared between 2 or 3 siblings at different reading levels.

Step 2: Choose your child's books

To ensure your child enjoys reading and makes the best progress, selecting the right book band during the joining process is important. For further guidance go to What are book bands?

The Reading Chest Team will select books at your chosen book band from our collection of reading schemes used in schools, such as Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Rigby Star, Bug Club Phonics, Big Cat Phonics, Floppy’s Phonics, Project X, Engage Literacy.

If your child has particular likes or interests, you can personalise your book choices in your Reading Chest account as much as you wish.

  • Choose particular reading schemes
  • Choose fiction or non-fiction
  • Choose particular titles using the ‘favourites’ feature
  • Exclude particular titles using the ‘book bin’ feature.

Don’t worry about any of this, as you can amend your account preferences at any time.
For more help, see Tips on choosing books or What are book bands?

three children reading

Step 3: Wait for your first delivery of books to arrive in the post!

If you sign up before 2:30pm on Monday to Friday, we will post your books out by first class post the same day.

Bronze members will get 4 books initially. Silver and Gold members will get 6 books initially.

book in envelope

Step 4: Pop books in nearest post box & wait for more!

After reading, simply return your books using the pre-paid return envelope in your nearest post box. You can return up to 3 books at a time in 1 envelope.

This is what Reading Chest calls ‘a swap’. (Bronze members get 2 new swap credits each month. Silver members get 4 new swap credits each month and Gold members get unlimited swap credits.) On the first day of each calendar month, your account will be credited with new swaps.

If you don’t use all your swaps in a month, they will be stored in your account until the next month or when you need them. Swaps cannot be used unless you are a paying member. (A maximum of 8 swaps can be carried over each month - perfect if you want to read more during the school holidays.)

book in envelope

Other great features!

  • Certificates after reading 20 books or moving up a book band
  • Reward charts and stickers
  • View personal reading records of books read
  • Write book reviews and see them published online


You can keep the books for as long as you like. There are no dues dates or late fees. There is no minimum membership period. To cancel, simply click ‘End my membership’ and return all books to Reading Chest.

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