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News | 03 November 2023

Reading in focus as IES students take their autumn break

While parents might remember taking höstlov in week 44, students today enjoy another sort of break; the national reading holiday.


Taylor Cater visits the library at IES Sigtuna

“Have you chosen your books for the reading break?” - a question posed to students at IES schools across the country before their autumn holiday.

While the sports break (sportlov) is a cultural tradition from around the second world war, its younger sibling Läslovet, or the reading break, was launched in 2015. Läslovet rose to prominence just one year later when then prime minister Stefan Löfven mentioned it during his summer speech (Sommartal).

Taylor Cater, Fritids Coordinator at IES Sigtuna, is making the most of the reading break for the 60 or so students in grades F-6 who come into school during the week-long holiday. She is keeping the doors open for her students, as her role is to coordinate activities before and after school (fritidshem).

She said: “We have more focus on reading in fritids this week, we have smaller groups and can also place extra focus on strengthening our relationships and connections with the students, we have around 60 children rather than 260.

“This week we can have more one-on-one time in the library and we made a little reading corner in the fritids room. The students want to have a break as well. We show them how they can always stop and take a deep breath and do some reading.”

Läslovet isn’t the only week where reading has a place in students’ free time, whether that is at fritids, or at home. Ms Cater explained “We collaborate a lot with the school library. We wanted to see if we could use the library after hours, and it took off from there.  Our fritids students can go there to read and they can check out books.

“We have a library schedule; we read out loud on Mondays, then on one day each week certain year groups have priority, and on another day other ages attending fritids have priority.

“All of this requires a good relationship with the librarian. We are more than welcome to use the library even when she is not there. It makes it a lot easier. It helps us to feel confident that we can go to the library.”


IES schools throughout Sweden have been encouraging students of all ages to spend the break reading, with initiatives around spooky Halloween books, book bingo, or the chance to take a blind date with a book - wrapped up to hide its true identity, with clues to help potential readers decide if they might find it interesting.

Magdalena Bull, primary years manager at Internationella Engelska Skolan , said: “Reading is a vital life skill and the key to unlocking the entire curriculum. At IES, we see Läslovet as a celebration of reading, whether students are at home or at fritids. It is an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of reading enjoyment and ensuring every child is supported to find something that will spark a life-long reading interest.”

It’s not just the fritids group at IES Sigtuna who are enjoying läslov either.  Ms Cater said: “One of our teachers has put bingo cards around with a Läslov bingo, and posters everywhere about Läslovet, and that goes for students of all ages.  Everyone knows that the week is for reading.

“Läslovet is more than just one week of the year because there is a build up. During the weeks before the break we ask ‘Do you have your books ready? let me help you find some books’.  We also start the conversation about where the public library is, and do they know how to access it over the break.  After students come back we can ask ‘what did you read?’ or encourage them to trade cool books.”