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
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.