Book clubs and reading groups

If you enjoy reading, sharing ideas and getting together with friends, you might enjoy belonging to a book club or reading group. This page outlines the various ways in which the library can help and support your group.

It also gives an overview of the different types of groups which are available, ranging from informal loose groupings of friends to more organised discussion groups.

Our libraries host two different types of book groups. Book Clubs are run independently by the libraries. They are more informal and there is no cost. Book Discussion Groups are arranged in conjunction with the Book Discussion Scheme, and a cost is involved.

Book Clubs

The book clubs we usually have running during the year. Only some of these are currently available as virtual book clubs.

Love sharing your favourite reads? Come and join other book lovers in our friendly, relaxed library environment. Free, and no bookings required.

Book Discussion Groups

The book discussion groups we usually have running during the year. Only some of these are currently available as virtual book clubs.

Book Discussion Groups are for those who love reading and want to share in discussion with other friendly book lovers. They are arranged in conjunction with the Book Discussion Scheme. We subscribe to the Book Discussion Scheme so there is a cost involved. Places are limited. Please phone 03 941 7923 or email to enquire about availability and cost.

The books to be discussed are selected by the members of the group, so you will have significant input as well.

ESOL Clubs

Free, and no bookings required.

ESOL Book Discussion Groups

Read a short book especially designed for ESOL learners for an ESOL book discussion group. Then come to the session and talk about it. The scheme helps those who wish to improve their English language reading and vocabulary in a relaxed fun environment, meet new people and get more confident with their conversation skills. There is a charge of $15 per year.

  • Tūranga Held on the second Monday of the month from 10.30am to 12pm. 
  • Tūranga Held on the last Wednesday of the month from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.  
  • Upper Riccarton Library Held on the second Thursday of the month from 10 to 11am.

Download this book discussion article [8 MB PDF]

Resources at the library

The library can help with book choices and reading suggestions. Use our website to:

In addition, if you are a library member, you can keep track of your reads and share your views of books by making full use of the library catalogue.

Types of reading groups

Informal gatherings

The more informal gatherings usually read several books in a month and meet in members’ homes. In these book clubs the books are bought by the members.

To join an informal group, ask around in your neighbourhood and get onto a waiting list. If that doesn’t work, form your own book group. Useful links to help you with this are:

Or you could ask at your local library, where you are sure to get some help with your project.

Formal discussion groups

The more formal discussion groups usually read only one book per month and each member reads the same book. They meet in one another’s homes or in cafés around the city. Their books are loaned, but there is a bit of planning involved to ensure that everyone has access to the same book in the same month.

If you decide that you want to belong to a group where members read the same book every month, a good organisation to contact is the WEA Book Discussion Scheme. They will help you join a group, set you up with all the reading lists you need and generally assist you to get yourself attached to a group.

Online book clubs

There is a growing number of online book clubs. Discussions can take place via websites, online communities, web forums or emails. Many focus on a particular audience, genre (e.g. romance, science fiction, mystery) or special interest. However, there are also several which take a more general approach.

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