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Launch of Shared Reading in Germany at the Leipzig Book Fair

Written by The Reader, 18th March 2016

We are delighted that Thomas Böhm and Carsten Sommerfeldt of Böhm & Sommerfeldt: Literarische Unternehmungen (Literary Ventures) are launching Shared Reading in Germany as we speak at the Leipzig Book Fair (17 - 20 March).

Shared Reading beginnt

Held every March, the Leipzig Book Fair is a massive draw for publishers, writers, readers and journalists both in Germany and across Europe, making it an ideal platform to spread the word internationally about the power of Shared Reading to change lives.

We thought this was a fantastic reason to hear from Jane and Phil Davis about what Shared Reading means to them, eight years after The Reader was founded as a charity and five years after the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature & Society (CRILS) was launched at the University of Liverpool.

Watch the video or read on below...


Dr Jane Davis, Founder & Director of The Reader

Shared Reading is a bit like meeting people without preconceptions; you have to think 'What can I like about this person?' I think reading is like that; you have to be looking for things you recognise; things you can identify with; and things you like!

We were reading a Dickens novel, and quite a long way through it a lady came for the first time, listened, didn't seem to join in very much...and then at the end of the session she said to me:

'This is great! You go straight in, it's deep. I can't do small talk'.

Lot's of people don't realise they might need that, or want it: that's what they get out of Shared Reading.

Dr Phil Davis, Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society, University of Liverpool

Shared Reading is the dropping away of:

  • knowing in advance
  • opinions
  • pre-formed ideas
  • set defaults
  • habits...

they begin to go.

There are no definite stages, there are no set goals. This is literature in performance, and psychology in action.

That's to say, the literature is live: it finds you. It has no designs to take you through a five or ten-stage programme.

It just explodes emotionally within you, and it makes you think.


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