Shared Reading groups bring people together through great literature to talk, laugh and share. We have serious conversation and good fun. Just drop in and enjoy listening to a story or poem – there's no homework, and no pressure to read or talk. Click on the green ribbon above to find out more about what we do.
Are you stuck at home?
Don't worry - you can still enjoy shared reading, without leaving your favourite sofa. We have online groups meeting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - click here for details, and contact us for an invitation. If you'd like to find out more about shared reading on Zoom, here's a link to a video with some snippets from a session of our Thursday afternoon group. We read and discuss a story called "The Massive Rat" by David Mitchell (courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.) and the poem "Since there's no help" by Michael Drayton.
"What I love about shared reading groups is that everyone is welcome and everyone is valued, reading sessions are accessible to all and are non-judgmental. The story or poem is always kept at the centre of the discussion, which enables the group to get the most out of it."
Helena, volunteer group leader
Ashby: our newest group
Do you live in NW Leicestershire? We recently launched a shared reading group in Ashby-de-la-Zouch Library, and you would be very welcome to join us there. We meet every Monday morning, from 10.30am till noon. What better way to start the week?
As with all our library-based groups there is no need to book - you can just turn up on the day, and you will be given a warm welcome.
We are also looking for a new volunteer to help our existing volunteers, Kay and Terri, run both this group and the one at Coalville Library, which takes place on Tuesday afternoons. See below for more information on becoming a volunteer.
Shorter meetings are now available
In response to feedback from some people that 90 minutes in front of a screen can be a little challenging, we have changed the length of our Wednesday evening virtual group to just an hour, making it, we hope, an even more enjoyable way to wind down after a hard day. We will be focusing on poems and shorter prose pieces. Let us know if you would like to join us and we will send you a link for the Zoom sessions.
Are you social-media savvy? Could you help support us?
Supporting our shared reading groups involves quite a bit of organisation and administrative work, and as some of our personnel get ready to retire, we have been recruiting people to help us with this behind-the-scenes work. Although we have found an admin volunteer and a website and IT volunteer, we are still hoping to recruit someone who can help us make the most of our social media presence and come up with bold and brilliant marketing ideas! Could you be our Social Media and Marketing Volunteer?
This role would be great for anyone seeking to use their experience, develop their skills and add to their CV, perhaps in preparation for getting back to paid work, or perhaps just to feel useful and connected! In general, you will be working from home.
If this sounds appealing, click here to find more details and an application form. We’d love to hear from you!
Volunteer as a group leader
Would you like to meet new people, make a difference in your local community and indulge your love of literature? If you have some spare time, volunteering as a shared reading group leader can offer all of this, together with inspiring training and the chance to be a member of a supportive and friendly team across Leicestershire.
We are particularly keen to recruit one or two new people to join our team in NW Leicestershire supporting both our new group on Monday mornings in Ashby Library and our long-standing group on Tuesday afternoons in Coalville Library.
We would also like help with running our Zoom-based groups on Wednesday evenings and Thursday afternoons.
Our Loughborough group currently meets on Zoom, every Tuesday afternoon, but is looking at the possibility of returning to in-person meetings at the library. Our team there is also in need of support.
Finally, we'd love someone to join our Hinckley team and help to run the popular Tuesday morning group in Hinckley Library.
You will be someone who enjoys reading for pleasure, is confident reading out loud and likes to meet new people and make connections - with people and their stories, and with literature. Before you apply for the role we would like you to attend a group (it doesn’t matter which) for a few weeks so you can develop a full understanding of what we do and what is required of our group leaders.
You can find more details of the volunteer role here. If you would like an informal chat, feel free to give one of us a call, or go along to your local group and talk to the leader. A couple of our volunteers have written about what it's like to be a volunteer - read their stories here.
Click here to see the details for all our groups: there is no need to book for the library-based groups, you can just drop in, but if you would like to come to a Zoom-based group we will need to send you an invitation and link.
READY TO FIND OUT MORE? READ ON...
'Will I enjoy shared reading?'
The value of the shared reading experience to our members has become clearer than ever during the pandemic, when many of them are at home and alone. We have received some lovely feedback about our 'virtual' meetings and WhatsApp chats:
"I am so glad I saw the poster in the library. Joining this group is the best thing I have done for me for years. [It] has made the world of difference to me, even more so in the present circumstances. I just love it. Thank you everyone."
"I think this is a story relevant for these times. The current news is so disturbing we have focus to on our gardens and cooking to stay sane! Thank you again, for organising Shared Reading especially at this strange time. It is so appreciated."
"What a wonderful group of people you are. So many moving experiences that you are able to share with such joy."
"I have very much enjoyed the group & certainly found it a lifeline during the depths of lock down when it was sometimes my only chance to join in a conversation!"
Want to join us?
Our groups are open to everyone, subject to capacity. If you'd like to join one and experience shared reading for yourself, find out about when and where our groups meet here - and if it's a library-based group, there is no need to book. It's free, there's no homework or preparation to do, and no obligation to attend every week.
If you'd like to join one of our Zoom-based groups, you'll need a device and a stable internet connection. Contact us using one of the methods below and we will send you a link.
We look forward to seeing you!