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What are the benefits of shared reading?

Many of our members come week after week for the sheer pleasure of the shared reading experience. Shared reading is not therapy, but it is therapeutic, and has a proven positive effect on health and wellbeing. In a recent survey carried out by The Reader, 93% of people said that they felt better after attending a Shared Reading session and 91% said their confidence and communication skills had improved. One group member said: 

"The reading groups are a different kind of medicine and it’s through them that I’ve found a way back to life."

It is the power of the literature itself together with the process of engaging with good literature, as a member of a supportive group, that brings about the feelings of increased well-being frequently noted by members and Reader Leaders alike.

 "Everybody who experiences it says that you have a different kind of experience for the time that it is happening…it is like a meditation…or a retreat and…that’s good for people. That’s why it works."

Jane Davis, Director and Founder, The Reader

Here are some of the things that members of Make Friends, With A Book groups here in Leicestershire have said about their experience:

  • It’s nice to have time where you are not thinking about anything else

  • What brings me back is the immersion – we all get so involved

  • I like the poetry especially – discussing it makes it comprehensible

  • I often don’t speak to anyone all day so it’s good to just speak to people

  • Tuesday afternoon is one of the peaks of my week

  • I’m learning the art of conversation again

  • It’s serious, and I want it to be serious

  • My eyesight means I can’t read books anymore so this is great

  • It’s the people – it’s friendly

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