Community and library shared reading groups demonstrate wide-ranging impacts: improved health, wellbeing and quality of life; learning, skills and employability; strong and safe communities through social participation; economic benefit and value for money.
“Since I've been attending the reading group, my self-esteem has soared. I've felt able to speak out and put my opinion across about a book we are reading, what is going on in a chapter and what I think about a particular character in the book. I've gained independence. I've always enjoyed reading and I'm enjoying it more being in a group situation. I think it's very important to have reading groups, as they help those who feel isolated make friends and feel integrated into society.” - shared reading group member, Wirral Libraries
Our community and library projects reach a wide range of people of all ages, reading abilities and backgrounds, improving wellbeing, increasing social engagement and widening cultural horizons.
Since joining a shared reading group in the community:
“It’s like therapy, a nice way of doing it, in a library surrounded by nice people. I like walking back home after the sessions, noticing nature and children smiling.” – Library group member, Wirral
“I’ve never read poetry before because I’ve never understood it. I like the poetry but we also come because it’s a positive group and we can chat and be social as a couple. You can’t always do that.” – Tiverton carer, Library Memory Group, Devon
Wirral: Forum Housing, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
London: Tri-borough Library Service, Barnet Libraries
South West: Devon Library Service
National: Leicestershire County Council
We host events and courses in communities to extend our reach and to provide more opportunities for members – younger and older – to enjoy reading together. See our events and courses pages for more details.
Our community and library groups are delivered in pockets across the UK: in several London boroughs, Liverpool, Wirral, South West, North Wales and North East (Newcastle) and East Midlands (Leicester). To find out if there is one in your area please a look at our group map.
Merseyside Community Theatre Alt Valley 2010 (MCT) was conceived as a pioneering community engagement project that would introduce reading, literature, team work and performance to a community with a high level of social and economic disadvantage.
Wirral Community Shakespeare was conceived as an eight-month long reading project culminating in a run of free public performances of William Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale over three nights in Birkenhead Park during August 2008. The play was to be performed and produced by a diverse and inter-generational cross-section of the community drawn from Get Into Reading groups and other agencies.
The Reader magazine offers a mix of new poetry and fiction, classic and neglected works and interviews with leading literary figures.
Share the joy of reading aloud with our poetry and short story anthologies
A classic for Read of the Week, Jekyll & Hyde, AND a first look at our shiny new style blog! Have a peek see!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… - 5h ago
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.