Book spaces and group activities

By a dyslexic library memberbook group

As an adult with dyslexia, books are potentially tricky for me. So I need to be proactive and find things that help me engage with them. 2 things I’ve found that do so are book spaces and group activities. They help me to engage with books by:

  • Bringing me into contact with other readers
  • Motivating me;
  • Making the book more memorable;
  • Supporting my comprehension; and
  • Helping me to organise and manage my time

Now we’re going to look at book spaces and 5 group activities in turn.

Book space

Group activities

1)    Book drop-in

  • A scheduled time and place where you engage silently with a book of your choice in the company of others
  • A session that happens regularly which you can attend as often or as infrequently as you like
  • A good option if you don’t get round to engaging with books
  • e. g. the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Collective Hush’ (for 2 hours every Friday)

2) Silent book gathering

  • A scheduled time and place where you engage silently with a book of your choice in the company of others
  • There might be the option of chatting afterwards
  • A good option if you want to engage with books of your choice and find out about books from others
  • e. g. ‘Hush Hour’ in Edinburgh

Are the 3 options above only for print books?

  • It might be possible to listen to an audiobook or audio dramatization through headphones. However, if this distracts others, you could choose a print book you find accessible [1] e.g. graphic novels, books designed to be dyslexia-friendly [2], or short stories.

3) Story Café

  • A scheduled time and place where you eat your lunch and listen to someone reading stories and poetry out loud in the company of others
  • You discuss the stories as a group after they’ve been read out
  • A good option if you prefer listening to reading, and enjoy group discussion
  • e. g. Edinburgh Story Café

4)    Mainstream Book group

  • A group you join that meets regularly, e.g. once a month
  • The idea is that everyone attends every meeting – it’s like a club
  • You engage with a set book then discuss it at the following meeting
  • The group is for anyone i.e. not aimed at specific groups like dyslexic people. But you can use any format you like.  You can also ask for reasonable adjustments e.g. request the list of books in advance
  • To find your nearest book groups, and for a range of virtual book groups, visit

5)    Book group for dyslexic adults

How about you?

  • Have you tried out a book space or group activity? How did you find it?
  • What places and activities help you to engage with books?
  • Dream up your ideal book activity – what would it involve?

[1] See sections G.4 – G.6 in ‘Accessing Books – A Guide for Dyslexic Adults

[2] For details see Series of books for adults designed to be dyslexia-friendly

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