Join in with the Big Library Read

blr-fb-cover-no-ctaThe next OverDrive Big Library Read is kicking off on 13th October, and its a Young Adult title this time – the #1 New York Times bestseller This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. There will be unlimited access to this ebook from 13th – 27th October so get online and download it!

The story features an American high school shooting told from four perspectives over the course of 54 harrowing minutes. The students of a fictional high school struggle to both survive and understand why one boy started shooting at 10:00 am. The author provides a unique look into what it’s like to experience a school shooting through the eyes of students. It confronts this subject realistically but without graphic depictions of the violence the students experience.

There is a discussion board available for readers to post their thoughts and there will also be a podcast with the author. Instruction sheets are available online to help you get started with OverDrive. Why not encourage your friends and family to download it too and host your own book club evening.

Download ‘A Murder in Time’ for Free and join the world’s biggest book group


When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life – 200 years before she was even born.

From now until the 7th July OverDrive are offering library members all over the world the chance to download the ebook for free, and to discuss the book on the Big Library Read website, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #biglibraryread. Why not host your own Book group and use our handy Reading Group Guide to discuss the book.

If you’re a library member and want to know more about the thousands of ebooks and audiobooks you can borrow for free using OverDrive, here’s how to get started.

Download ‘American Sniper’ for free and join the world’s biggest book group

Described as ‘one of the great war memoirs of all time’, American Sniper is the bestselling autobiography of the late US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Kyle, who was killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris.

From now until the end of March OverDrive are offering library members all over the world the chance to download the ebook or audiobook for free, and to discuss the issues it raises on the Big Library Read website, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #biglibraryread .

If you’re a library member and want to know more about the thousands of ebooks and audiobooks you can borrow for free using OverDrive, here’s how to get started.


Agnes says “You can only win!”

AgnesAgnes, a member of one of our ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages) Chatabout Book Groups, writes about what the group means to her:

I’m originally from Hungary. I’ve been living in beautiful Edinburgh  more than 5 years now. As I’m a passionate reader I joined an ESOL Chatabout reading group at Fountainbridge Library a couple of years ago. It turned out to be an excellent decision as I gained a lot of benefits from it.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the short stories which we were given to read and I also enjoyed our discussions over the books. As well, my mind broadened through reading historical stories, I found it very interesting to hear other people’s different opinions about the same book.

Moreover, it helped me to learn to express myself better in English, extended my vocabulary and thanks to the friendly, encouraging environment my self-confidence grew. The reading group also provides a great opportunity for socialising, meeting new people or even making friends. If you have an opportunity to join a reading group then grab it, you can only win!

ESOL Chatabout Groups resume in September and are most suited to those who already have some English language skills (intermediate level).

There are two groups. One at Fountainbridge Library on the second Tuesday morning of each month, and another at Central Library, meeting on the first Monday evening of each month.

You are welcome to join us and practice listening, speaking and reading English.

For more information contact

Dyslexia Chatterbooks celebrates another year

Our Chatterbooks group for youngsters with dyslexia recently had its annual knees up celebrations and the ‘special guest’ Mr Bookbug caused a stir when he arrived to present certificates and yearbooks to each member.


Parents and siblings enjoyed stories, songs, drama and games giving them a taste of what the group gets up to on a monthly basis!

The group meets in the Central Children’s Library on the last Tuesday of each month and is for children from Primary 4 upwards.

To cater for those moving up to senior school a new group has recently started, REDit! Senior 1-3 pupils with dyslexia are welcome.

We meet on the second Tuesday of each month, on the Mezzanine, Central Library. If you are interested in finding out more about either of these popular groups, please contact

“No one feels judged on their opinion.” Conversation and cake with Morningside Library’s Book Group

IMG_4950The reading experience is something we take very seriously in Edinburgh Libraries, and one of the most successful methods of promoting the joy of reading  is through book groups.

There are dozens of book groups meeting in libraries across Edinburgh. These include specialist groups for teens, dyslexic readers, sci-fi fans and a group concentrating specifically on contemporary European Literature.

With  National Reading Group Day (20th June) fast approaching we visited one of our groups to join in the discussion on The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


The group have been meeting at Morningside Library for a couple of years now and everyone was quick to point out the benefits. Martha, a first time book-grouper tells us:

“I’ve been really impressed by the level of conversation and all the different ideas which are brought to the group. Even if you have read a book you didn’t like so much, usually, following a discussion you want to read it again.

Also, books you may have rejected before you are now pushed to have an opinion on and think more carefully about them.”

Katrina agrees: “I think it adds more enjoyment to the book to think about in that way. The group is quite good in that no-one feels judged on their opinion. It is quite relaxed and open and easy to make conversation about the books.”


While  they enjoy tea and generous slices of birthday cake everyone agrees that the social aspect is a key thing for them.

Katrina tells us “it’s a regular group so we’ve all got to know each other pretty well. We’ve started meeting for coffees outwith the group. It’s a good way to reduce isolation for some people and an opportunity to make new friends”.

Do you run a book group? If so, you can borrow up to 15 copies of a title for your group – and with over 250 titles to choose from, you should find something to suit.

And if you want to find out more about book groups in your area visit Reading Groups for Everyone.

Summer ebooks for younger readers!

Adults aren’t the only readers getting unrestricted access to particular ebook titles this summer. The following two titles are available for younger readers to download – free – until 9th July.

Why not suggest your children host their own book group to chat about the book they’ve read?

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For teens: Fat Boy Chronicles by Diane Lang.  A thought-provoking novel based on a true story which brings to life the pain and isolation felt by many overweight teenagers as they try to find their way in a world obsessed with outward beauty.

51-bvF5OkYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The children’s title is Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas which details a dark period in American history when Japanese Americans were interned after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

Both titles are available from the OverDrive Kids & Teen site