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Reading Groups

The beauty of a Reading Group is variety!

The Library Service may be able to help your group by providing book sets for loan.

The following comes from the Oxford World's Classics Magazine. These tips are taken from Jenny Hartley's book Reading Groups published by OUP

Keeping the Group alive:
  1. Keep book reviews and take them along to meetings
  2. Each person makes an anonymous suggestion on a piece of paper which is
  3. then picked by someone in the group
  4. Never read the same author twice
  5. Choose books from other countries, or translations of foreign novels
  6. Get someone from a local bookshop to come along with a selection of
  7. books
  8. If there's a new film of a book out have a video and book group
  9. Try some poetry or a play for a change
  10. Alternate between modern and classic books
  11. Select a biography
  12. Instead of a book, select an author for a change
How do I set up a reading group? from National Reading Campaign READ ON Spring 2003
  1. At its simplest, a reading group can be a few friends or colleagues meeting in a home or pub, discussing a book.
  2. For a more supported structure libraries are excellent venues, allowing more open access and often a broader cross-section of members.
  3. The purpose of the reading group is to give people the confidence to develop their own reading and to empower them to choose for themselves what they want to read across a wide range.
  4. Whatever the size or style of the group, it is important to emphasise that it exists to foster the enjoyment of reading.

Try to target your audience. You could focus on some of the following:

  1. a particular group of people, colleagues at work, teenagers, adult learners, an over 60s coffee morning, or a group of neighbours.
  2. a particular time: lunchtime reading group, a weekly or a monthly meeting
  3. a particular purpose: short books for people with little time, exploring new genres, or books for holidays
  4. a particular theme: growing up, food, weepies, sports or different worlds.

Here are some ideas for early sessions:

  1. a questionnaire about reading habits. Where do you read? What are your favourite types of book? Do you borrow books from the library or do you prefer to own them?
  2. discuss the books you remember from childhood and the effect they had on you.
  3. ask everyone to bring along a book that made them cry or laugh out loud.

The Reading Groups Book by Jenny Harley

Advice for Book Groups