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How green is your reading group?

COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. It’s got us thinking about the things we can do, big and small, at home, work and school, to help the planet. But what about in your reading group? We’ve collated a few ideas to help you run your reading group with the planet in mind.

Share this list with your members at your next meet-up and see what you’d like to try out…

  • Teach your children. Saving the planet is for the next generation, so it’s really important that children also understand climate change. They can discover Exact Editions’ Children’s Book Showcase using our scavenger hunt.
  • Borrow your books. Many library services offer sets of books for reading groups to borrow. Ask your local library if they have a list of reading groups sets, or how else they can support your group. You can also borrow e-books and audiobooks from the library using their digital lending service. Don’t have your book in stock? Ask the librarian if they can get it in for you!
  • Buy second-hand. If you prefer to own your books, check out a local charity shop or second-hand bookshop to see if they have the book you’re after. There are also websites such as Bookswap or World of Books where you can swap or buy second-hand books. You can also share copies between your group members instead of everyone having their own copy.
  • Meet with less mileage. Try car sharing, taking public transport, walking or cycling to your reading group. Alternatively, try running some of your meetings on Zoom to save on petrol and reduce your carbon emissions.
  • Make a pledge to the planet. Make a monthly green promise as a group. Try taking part in Meat Free Mondays, swap your disposable coffee cups for keep cups or buy your groceries locally. Keep 10 minutes at the end of your meeting to discuss your progress and keep each other on track!
  • Snack sustainably. Ditch the supermarket biscuits and take it in turns to make your own food and refreshments for the group!

Share your own ideas with us, take photos and tag us at @readingagency!


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The Radio 2 Book Club is part of Steve Wright In The Afternoon. Each month Steve will interview the chosen authors, as well as having brilliant guest stars and real-life listeners on the show to talk about the books too. The Book Club showcases the best in brand-new fiction, from dazzling debuts to blockbuster bestsellers.


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The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

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