Share the Love!

Shared reading? What is that? At its simplest it’s ‘book clubs’, people who come together through a love of reading to discuss not just the books but their experiences of them, their feelings and emotions. This concept is growing and becoming more and more widespread and in a small way it’s something we can all participate in and foster in others. But book clubs is not all it is! Take a look at the charity, The Reader. This is what they do...

We bring people and great literature together.

Our primary way of doing this is through our innovative shared reading model, bringing people together in weekly groups to listen to poems and stories read aloud. Thoughts and experiences are shared; personal and social connections are made.

There is no pressure for anyone to read or even speak because simply listening to the literature and the other group members can be a powerful stimulant. The group leader seeks to create an atmosphere of lively collaboration, which is best felt in the literature itself:... It is our ambition to make shared reading widespread so that you could go to most places in the UK and easily find a group. We currently read with 2,000 people per week across a variety of settings; in the workplace, in prisons, on mental health wards, in care homes, in schools and in local communities.

Why do they do it?

Because, as one group member told us: “you need it, you just don’t know you need it.”

The central power of the shared reading model means that we can help individuals to make changes to how they feel about themselves and how they relate to other people.

Then there’s Quick Reads. Their ambition is to “...introduce or reacquaint as many adults as possible to the pure pleasure and sense of wellbeing to be found within the covers of a great book.” This article sums it up brilliantly and is a quick easy read (no pun intended!)

Finally here’s an article from The New Yorker. It’s quite long but it introduces us to the idea of Bibliotherapy which I find fascinating “...a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect.”

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