“Shared reading is a wonderful way of meeting like-minded people. It’s a way of exploring different perspectives on life and appreciating different views”
Leicestershire group member
Photo courtesy of The Reader
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.
Although libraries are now beginning to reopen, our library-based groups remain suspended until it is safe and practical for them to meet again. Fortunately, we are able to offer alternative ways to enjoy the group experience...
Shared reading, in the comfort of your own home
We are excited to announce the launch of two new shared reading groups that are open to all. The success of the virtual groups set up to replace some of our library groups during lockdown has encouraged us to set up new ones, allowing us to offer the Shared Reading experience to a wider audience.
At a time when many people are still shielding or anxious about leaving their homes, virtual shared reading offers a powerful sense of connection with other people and with great literature.
The beauty of a virtual group meeting is that it doesn’t matter where you live: anyone who has a phone or computer can join in.
Two sessions will be available: Wednesdays, from 1.30-2.30pm, and Thursdays, from 5.00-6.00pm. The groups will launch on Wednesday 19th August and Thursday 20th August and will then take place at the same time each week. The meetings will use the Zoom video platform which also allows audio calls.
To join, just contact us using one of the methods at the bottom of this page and we will send you a code and password or a telephone number so that you can access the meeting.
Who can join?
Anyone who has a phone or internet access can join. These groups will be ideal for anyone who might want a taste of Shared Reading just to see what it's like. They will also appeal to current members who do not have access to a virtual group, people who have not been able to access a local group previously because their local group was full or wasn't convenient, or because there wasn't one operating in their locality.
Will it cost me anything?
Joining with video on a computer or other internet-connected device is free; audio calls into a meeting from a mobile or landline telephone will be charged at your normal national call rate. For many this will mean that your call is free, as packages tend to include free calls of up to an hour’s duration, for example.
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 loved being a Reader Leader, I believe it has been a life-changing experience for me with all the wonderful people I have met who voluntarily give their time and effort to such a worthwhile cause.”
Jan, Volunteer, Loughborough
Make Friends, With A Book
at one of our groups!
Click above to find details.