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 wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk

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.

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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 wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk

“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

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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.”

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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

It’s a mystery

The next OverDrive Big Library Read will be Eyes on You – a breathless and terrifying psychological thriller full of twists that will leave readers guessing until the final pages!

EyesOnYou_AvailableAsE-ARobin Trainer, a television show host and bestselling author discovers that her success has come with danger and an adversary with a dark agenda. This book is sure to have you reading late into the night as Robin desperately tries to unmask her enemy before it’s too late!

This title will be available as both an ebook and an audiobook from Tuesday until 23rd June on OverDrive. Both versions are multi-access so unlike other titles there’s no restriction to the number of users who can borrow them.

Portobello’s award-winning teenage book group

Congratulations to Portobello Teenage Book Group for their 2015 Adult Learners’ Achievement Award in the Young Adults Category.

The award ceremony was held in the City Chambers on Wednesday May 20th and thanks to Alex and Skye for attending to accept the award on the groups’ behalf.

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The judges for the award said “The quotes from the learners about the impact of their learning were particularly powerful and the panel were very impressed”

Portobello Teenage Book group was founded in 2003 and is one of the longest running book groups in Edinburgh City Libraries. There are currently 14 members in S5 and S6 and they meet monthly during term time.

Although the focus of the group is around books, it’s also been a very effective forum to discuss and debate a wide range of social topics in an informal and non judgemental atmosphere. The members of the group choose the books for discussion which range from popular young adult fiction through to literary classics.

Our newest book group takes reading to another dimension

sci fi book group

‘Alternate Fiction’ is a new book group dedicated to sci-fi, horror, fantasy and graphic novels.

If you’re keen to explore far away worlds and mystical realms filled with ancient creatures and epic battles please come and join us.

Our first meeting takes place on Tuesday 12th May at 6pm at Wester Hailes Library, and we’ll meet monthly after that.

If you’d like to find out more email westerhailes.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 529 5667