Join an online book group

Some of our libraries are keeping in touch with readers by starting up online book groups. Why not join them?

Open Book with Craigmillar Library 

Craigmillar Library are partnering with Open Book to host an online book group via Zoom. The meetings will be once a fortnight on Tuesday mornings, from 10 to 11 am.

Open Book provide all the material and each session it is a short story and a poem or two. The theme this month is Future. Participants can take part in shared reading or staff will be happy to read the whole thing. If participants feel more comfortable just listening, they can turn their video off. The reading stops every now and again for the group to discuss the story or poem.

Staff are already thinking of how these sessions can continue in the future once things return to normality and how they can work with other local services to reach out to people who might enjoy shared reading.

Booking is via Eventbrite and the next session is on 19 May.

‘Heard a good book lately’ with Stockbridge Library
A new online audio book group has been started up by Carol who works at Stockbridge Library. Using the RBDigital service, everyone in the group can borrow and listen to the same audiobook at the same time. There is a huge range of authors and genres, but Carol decided to pick titles which are not only good for discussion, but gives themes to explore and research too. The first book chosen is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  The novel depicts the story of two slaves in the south east of the USA set in 19th century and their bid for freedom. It won the Pulitzer prize for fiction 2017.

The concept of the audiobook group however is no stranger to Stockbridge Library, a group has existed for over a year now with inclusion and accessibility at the core. However the beauty of audiobooks is that anyone can enjoy them at any time, if you are out and about, doing stuff about the house or relaxing.
“The audio book group has been fantastic opportunity to bring people together with or without sight loss. It also allows another option to discuss books in different formats. It’s not just about the writing, you’ve got to enjoy listening to the narrator. A few favourites have been ‘A Girl of slender means’ by Muriel Spark and ‘Our man in Havana’ by Graham Greene.” 
With the advent of lockdown it’s important to keep discussion and a sense of community going, so Carol is hoping you can join her on Tuesday 26 May at 7pm. Joining details are available on the Stockbridge Facebook page or Eventbrite.

‘Reading takes you places’ with South-west Edinburgh Libraries

Our Libraries in the South-west neighbourhood of Edinburgh have joined together to create a virtual book group too. So if you enjoy chatting about books and are looking for new reading suggestions, this one is for you.

Whether you’re already a member of a library book group, or have never been part of a book group before, you’re all invited to join.

A live discussion will take place through a free online video/ audio call service (such as Skype) fortnightly. The next meeting will take place on Thursday 21 May at 3pm, when they will discuss ‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig.

All books chosen for the book group have multiple ebook copies available through Edinburgh Libraries, so everyone will be able to borrow a copy for free. Guidance on accessing and borrowing e-books from the library is available on the Your Library website.

If you are interested in joining the book group, please email


This autumn’s Big Library Read

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal is this autumn’s Big Library Read and unlimited people will be able to read it from our OverDrive site at the same time from 4th till 18th November. There’s nothing quite like a fantastic young adult novel so join in with the world’s largest digital reading club!

Over the course of one night, two girls with two very different backgrounds must rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has enveloped their city. Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together. They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

Readers can join an online conversation about the book at All you need is library membership so you can login with your library card and PIN. Full instructions for using OverDrive can be found on our Your Library website.

This summer’s Big Library Read

Travel through history along with millions of readers during Big Library Read, the world’s largest digital book club! From 17th June – 1st July, book-lovers can borrow LP Fergusson’s harrowing wartime love story, A Dangerous Act of Kindness, from Edinburgh Libraries OverDrive service as an ebook with no waitlists or holds.

A Dangerous Act of Kindness is a beautiful, harrowing love story, perfect for fans of Rachel Hore and Santa Montefiore. It tells the story of widow Millie Sanger, who finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm during World War II. Compassionate Millie knows Lukas will be killed if discovered and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm. On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond. But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War II forces them apart, leaving only the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.

The ebook will be available on the home page of Libby/OverDrive apps and the OverDrive website from the 17th June and with unlimited downloads is perfect for discussing with your friends and family. You can also join an online conversation about the book at and if you use #biglibraryread on social media you’ll be entered into a draw to win a Kobo Aura H20 ebook reader! All you need is library membership so you can login with your library card and PIN. Full instructions for using OverDrive can be found on our Your Library website.

Big Library Read – Digital Book Group

We’ll be having another Big Library Read from 1st-15th April on OverDrive! Unlimited people can download the ebook version of this very topical autobiography called  Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung. Read the story of Abu Bakr who along with his family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life, but they moved to Syria – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone – and eventually found safety in Canada.

The ebook will be available on the home page of the OverDrive website and Libby/OverDrive apps from the 1st April and with unlimited downloads is perfect for discussing with your friends and family. You can join an online conversation about the book at All you need is library membership so you can login with your library card and PIN. Full instructions for using OverDrive can be found on our Your Library website.

Have you heard a good book recently?

Do you enjoy listening to books? Want to meet new people? Enjoy discussion? Why not join our new Audiobook Group!

This monthly group starts on Friday 21 September from 10.30-11.30 at Stockbridge Library. At our first meeting we’ll be choosing the titles we are going to listen to and getting an introduction to the RBdigital downloadable audiobook service that the group will be using. You’ll need a smartphone, tablet or computer to use this service.

For more information contact 0131 529 5665 or email

Join the Big Library Read!

Fancy injecting a bit of romance into your summer? Then join in with this year’s Big Library Read! It’s a romance with a twist – think Pride and Prejudice set in the American Wild West!

Cowboy Pride by Lacy Williams will be available on our OverDrive site from 9-23 July for any library member to download. Read it on your own; read it with your friends; or host your own Big Library Read book group (or perhaps a hoedown would be more appropriate!).

In this love story, hearts and emotions get tangled and first impressions count. Liza Bennett has two missions in life: keep the family’s shop afloat, and ensure her shy sister finds love. Sparks fly when she meets rancher Rob Darcy at a town dance, but when she overhears him insult her, she vows to put the man out of her mind. Rob Darcy is instantly attracted to the vivacious Liza, but a lack of social graces and the promise he’s keeping ruin his chances of winning her.

Readers can join an online discussion about the book at Or if you are hosting a book group there’s a list of discussion topics available too.

If you are new to OverDrive there are full user instructions available to get you started so you too can join in with the Big Library Read.

Buzzing about books…in the garden

Staff at Blackhall Library are looking at ways to open the library’s garden space up for readers and community groups to use. It’s a lovely space to sit and read, you can even bring your own picnic!

However, it needs a bit of TLC and we are asking local people to give a helping hand. We are starting a Gardening Volunteer Group on Saturday 23nd June from 10:30 to 11:30am, and fortnightly thereafter. So please bring gardening gloves if you have them, we’ll supply the tools and a cuppa too. Contact Sean or Heather for more details 0131 529 5595

On the reading front we have a Book Group Gathering in the garden on Saturday 14th July. From 11am-noon we’ll have a discussion about ‘Elinor Oliphant is completely fine’ by Gail Honeyman. The book group chat is open to everyone, you don’t have to be in a group. Then from noon-1pm you can bring a picnic along with you and have lunch in the garden. Contact Carol for more info at

We’ve got other events organised over the summer too including a Teddy Bears Picnic, so please check out our Facebook Page.