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Why join a reading group?

Here at The Reading Agency, we tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We want to create a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life. Our work focuses on reading for pleasure and the benefits it has on health and wellbeing, building social connections and relationships with others, and increasing the chances of the social mobility.

Today, on National Reading Group Day, we’re celebrating reading groups and everything we love about them. We have three areas of work that bring people together through reading:

Reading Groups for Everyone is the UK’s largest network of reading groups. Anyone can sign up to find a group, register their own group and access exclusive offers and news from publishers, book prizes and our other partners.
Chatterbooks is our network of children’s reading groups run in schools and libraries to generate discussion and encourage children to enjoy reading. They are run by anyone with a passion for reading for children aged 4-12.
Reading Friends tackles loneliness by bringing people together to read, chat and share stories. It uses a person-centred approach building on interests and hobbies to get everyone talking, working with local community organisations and volunteers to build social connections. It reaches people who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk of loneliness.

Why should you join a reading group?

There are lots of great reasons to be part of a reading group! Last year we asked over 1,000 reading group members to tell us about their experiences and the responses were overwhelmingly positive:

  • 95% of members read things they wouldn’t typically read since joining their reading group
  • 84% of members feel more connected to other people because of being part of a reading group
  • 71% said their mental wellbeing has improved
  • 72% read more since joining a reading group
  • 71% enjoyed reading more when they discuss a book or text as part of their group

Research also shows that participation in shared reading groups is linked to enhanced relaxation, calmness, concentration, quality of life, confidence and self-esteem, as well as feelings of shared community and common purpose.

If you’re thinking about joining a reading group, what are you waiting for? Get a group of friends, family or colleagues together and start your own, or find one to join through our website or your local library. Make sure you sign up to Reading Groups for Everyone to apply to receive free sets of books for your group to read and review.

Meet some of our reading groups to get inspired.

If you’re starting a workplace reading group, find out how Pearson English team run their group for inspiration and tips.

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Keeping your reading group active while social distancing

Are you wondering how your reading group can continue to meet, even while you’re social distancing? With many people at home with family, flatmates or on their own, we know that books are so important to provide comfort, solace and escapism. Staying socially connected, and keeping your regular reading group meetings in your diary, is going to be very important in keeping up morale and supporting everyone’s mental health as we adjust to a new way of living.


How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.


Hive and The Reading Agency

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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