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Set up a reading group

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What is it?

A Reading Group is a group that meets regularly to talk about books. Some groups will read a book before they meet to discuss at the meeting. Other will choose some books or other text such as poetry to talk about and share at the meeting.

What sort of space will you need?

A quiet place where you can talk and hear what others say.

When could it take place?

Agree a regular meeting time that's convenient for everyone.


First you'll need to find people to join your group. You could try putting a notice in the library or school.

Once you have some people for your group arrange the first meeting. Try ice-breaking activities and tasks that everyone can get involved in. One idea might be to get everyone to bring a book they like and talk about why they liked it with the group. This can keep people talking for ages, sharing their passions with each other.

Make sure you have good refreshments! If you want everyone to read the same book you will need to talk to your library and order enough copies for everyone.

Encourage the group to leave with a book to read and a plan for what’s going to happen in the next session. Discuss how the group is going to run and whether you need ground rules such as ‘one person talking at a time’.

Let people set their own ground rules rather than imposing them on them. Make a plan for the next few sessions in advance. Try to make sure that everyone has a chance to contribute but remember that people who are very quiet may be perfectly happy to say nothing for the first few weeks. Gently encourage them to say a few words but don’t pressure them.