Start a reading group

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Daphne talks about her experiences of starting and running a reading group

Why start a reading group?

•   Bring people together and make new friends
•   Build your skills in organising and leading a group
•   Have fun and give other people the pleasure of talking about books

How to find members?

•   Start with a few friends or colleagues then gradually add new members
•   Use local notice boards, or social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word
•   Word of mouth can work wonders
•   To get others interested in joining reading groups download our join a reading group poster  

Where to meet?

•   Why not try your local library, bookshop or college
•   Often groups meet in people's houses, or with colleagues in the workplace
•   How about a local café, pub or community centre? Or the park if it's nice out!

What to read?

•   Ask the group for ideas. If books are still available, easy to borrow or affordable to buy, you can't go wrong
•   Read book reviews in newspapers, magazines and online for inspiration
•   Ask libraries and bookshops for reading lists
•   Look on the Find a Read website
•   Why not start with the new Quick Reads?

Eek... the first meeting!

•   Tea and biscuits are handy to make people feel welcome
•   Make sure everyone is introduced to each other and settled before you start
•   Prepare a few questions or activities to break the ice. You can use our Quick Reads First line challenge as an ice-breaker
•   You can use this plan to run your first reading group meeting smoothly


Keep it going

•   Arrange visits to libraries, museums, other book groups or the cinema - sometimes there is a film out that's based on a book
•   Invite guest speakers or authors
•   Take part in national activities like the Six Book Challenge or international events like World Book Night

Remember, it can take time for a group to bond. Be flexible, encourage feedback and be open to suggestions. Your group can continue as long as you all want it to. Good luck!

More info and useful resources