How to begin
Run your own group
Reading groups can be as formal or informal as you like but basically you need a 'who', a 'what' and a 'where'.
Who do you want to be in the group?
What are you going to read?
And where are you going to meet?
All you need to do is ask people you know or see regularly to get together once or twice a month to talk about a book you've organised to read. You'll probably need at least five or six people in your group but the more the merrier.
Choose books that you think will appeal to the interest of the group as a whole, are easily available and can be read in the time between meetings. You might want to designate a leader for each meeting to help the flow of discussion and it's always useful to remember that conflict and criticism are an essential part of a good reading group. Dissenting opinions about the featured book are at the heart of the best discussion and everyone should have a right to their own opinion.
Where you meet is up to you. You can meet at home, at the pub, anywhere where you'll all fit.
Reading group notes
Allen & Unwin's notes for reading groups are designed to stimulate discussion. The aim is to help you place the book in a broader context and provide insights into the author's life as well as the events behind the writing of the book.
We also include extracts from reviews and a few discussion points to help you if you get a bit stuck coming up with things to talk about.
In the last few years, the reading group phenomenon has swept the country and more and more people are becoming interested in either becoming a member of one or setting up their own reading group.
But how do you go about finding a reading group in your area, or if you are involved in setting one up, how should it be run and what books should be selected? The Bloomsbury Essential Guide for Reading Groups tells you all you need to know to run a Reading Group - how to set one up; Readers' Guides covering 50 books, 40 novels and 10 non-fiction; Synopses to aid a quick choice of a book for discussion (all synopses are cross-referenced back to Readers' Guides); Themes: each theme is accompanied by a brief introductory paragraph, followed by a simple list of titles, all of which are referenced back to the Readers' Guides; Resources: an annotated list of useful magazines, books websites etc; Suggested Further Reading: a list of fifty additional, highly recommended titles for discussion.
The Bloomsbury Essential Guide for Reading Groups is indispensable in the setting up and running of a successful Reading Group.