The 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.