Book clubs and reading groups

Book Clubs and Book Discussion Groups

If you enjoy reading, sharing ideas and getting together with friends, you might enjoy being in a book club or reading group. The library can help.

Our libraries host different types of book groups.

Book Clubs

Book Clubs are run independently by the libraries. They are more informal and there is no cost.  Join other book lovers in our friendly, relaxed library environment. Free, and no bookings required.

Book Discussion Groups

Book Discussion Groups are arranged in conjunction with the Book Discussion Scheme, and a cost is involved.

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.

Special interest book clubs and groups

Some book clubs and groups are tailored to a particular audience or subject. Check our events calendar for:

Book clubs in languages other than English

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.

eBook providers also run regular eBook clubs providing simultaneous copies for a limited time so that readers around the world can connect via social media and discuss the currently promoted book. These include Together we read, Big Libray Read, and monthly eAudiobook uLibrary book clubs.

Big Library Read

Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading programme that connects readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club, the program is free through your local library or school library and all you need to get started reading is a library card or student ID.

Upcoming Big Library Reads in 2021:
Monday 1 November to Monday 15 November

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.

Book Discussion Scheme

Download this book discussion article [8 MB PDF]

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