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What We Do And Why

Connect Realise Change - High Quality

Download our Connect, Realise, Change booklet

We bring people and great literature together.

Our primary way of doing this is through our innovative shared reading model, bringing people together in weekly groups to listen to poems and stories read aloud. Thoughts and experiences are shared; personal and social connections are made.

There is no pressure for anyone to read or even speak because simply listening to the literature and the other group members can be a powerful stimulant. The group leader seeks to create an atmosphere of lively collaboration, which is best felt in the literature itself:

A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eyes sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

- Matthew Arnold, The Buried Life

It is our ambition to make shared reading widespread so that you could go to most places in the UK and easily find a group. We currently read with 2,000 people per week across a variety of settings; in the workplace, in prisons, on mental health wards, in care homes, in schools and in local communities.

Why do we do it?

Because, as one group member told us:

“you need it, you just don’t know you need it.”

The central power of the shared reading model means that we can help individuals to make changes to how they feel about themselves and how they relate to other people. Take a look at the Reader Stories dotted throughout the site to discover more about how shared reading is making a difference to people of all ages and backgrounds.

On the Events, Courses and Reading With Us pages, you’ll find other ways in which we are bringing people and literature closer together.

reader story

North West Main 1

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The Reader Calderstones Mansion House Calderstones Park Liverpool L18 3JB



Registered charity number: 1126806 Registered company number: 0660 7389

If you have any suggestions on how we can enhance The Reader experience for you, please get in touch by filling out our quick form. Thank you.