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Starting a reading group

Check out our reading group suggestions.

What we’ll do

  • Provide a free, welcoming space for your group to meet on a regular basis. Contact your library to book a free space.
  • Set you up with a free, special library account so you can borrow more books.
  • Publish your meeting dates on your library page and your library manager can pass on details about the next book you’re reading.

Setting up a group checklist

  • Consider who will attend the reading group - you could advertise for members, or keep it to friends, colleagues, family and friends of friends.
  • Choose how often you want to meet as a group - 4–6 weeks is a good time within which to stay, otherwise meetings can become disjointed. Some groups meet on the same day every month.
  • Confirm where the group will meet - some groups meet at the same venue every month, others ask its members to take turns to host the group. If you are looking for a venue for your group to meet in, get in touch with your local library.
  • Arrange how the meetings will be structured - it can be anything from when you have your drinks and snacks, to how formal the discussion should be. Will it just be a chat about the book or will you set questions in advance?
  • Decide who will organise the book group - which members will establish and share duties (sending out meeting details, contact details for non-attendance and organising the venue etc.). You can also set up a blog, newsletter or email list to keep group members updated.

Choosing books for a group

You could specialise in a genre, such as crime or romance. Alternatively, you could read books you otherwise would not try. However, it is best to choose books you know your group will read. You could draw up a list of books you want to read at the beginning of the year or take in turns choosing. Library staff can help you select books.

Try to choose books that are available in paperback or at your local library to keep the costs down for the members of your reading group.

For ideas, you can also check out book recommendations from these websites: