The Reader

I’ve never been to a book reading group but I imagine they are geared primarily to people who have already read extensively and who are used to commenting on that experience, the attendees will either have had the book topic/title chosen for them or perhaps by collective agreement. The Reader Organisation is  a charity whose aims are to attract people who may not, for a variety of reasons, like myself,  had that opportunity,  and for whom it might  appear  intimidating, people in care, psychiatric units,residential homes, prison or similar, the potential is exciting.

They promote book reading groups with a difference,  the participants may not have pre-prepared the reading before the meetings, the Reader consider that it is the shared reading aloud that is therapeutic, improving  reading ability and confidence in expressing opinions about the novel, author, historical period, possibly relating it to their life experience.

Check out their site and current training courses, sometimes there are concessionary trainee facilitator places.

It would be good to see a group and training in Leeds, perhaps one exists, already, please comment on the  Leeds Wellbeing  blog  if you are aware of it, participation in a similar group could be an aid in maintaining better health.

The Reader site indicates that they can deliver training for interested groups and gives relevant contact details.


7 thoughts on “The Reader

  1. I lead writing groups in mental health wards. I sometimes read poems and stories to the groups and encourage others in the group to read them aloud as well. Often this reminds group members of other poems they used to like. Sometimes it re-awakens an interest in someone who had more or less abandoned reading poetry and literature.

    Reading together in a group is a nice social thing to do. And, especially in a ward, reading or writing together in a group sometimes introduces people to other people they might otherwise not have spoken to.

    I have just attended and enjoyed a three day Reader Organisation training course and I plan to introduce more reading aloud into my writing groups in future. Reading a story or poem in a group is a great inspiration for discussions and also for writing together and is definitely therapeutic.

    Best wishes, Carol Ross, Writing Practitioner.


    • Hi Carol, Thanks for your interesting comment and details about the way you work, it sounds very beneficial.I have had this Reader piece in draft forn for some months but was gifted the Reader magazine as a Xmas gift a couple of years ago, I read and enquired about their training courses but prices were prohibitive, there was training in Leeds but the concessionary place had been taken, so I suspect there is an existing group in these parts already, will investigate! Although I recovered from my acute episodes of distress some years ago, I think I would enjoy a similar reading group, poetry reading brings me great comfort. Su


  2. Oh Carol…..(remember the song from 50/60s), a big thanks for this, although I don’t remember the poem, it helped me conjure up the ‘feel’ of those glass beads, I remember the fun of reading the different parts in books/poems,I decided to reblog a more recent item from the Reader online too. The training does appeal still but I will have to chase one of the concessionary places. I enjoy reading aloud ,even for better understanding of academic things and I love being read to….mm a nice bed time story appeals…..’to sleep, as I in childhood, sweetly slept’ John Clare ‘I am’


  3. Hi, it looks interesting. Seems quite expensive to train. Such is life 🙂 yes reading aloud can be fun – I like to read aloud – but my audience is often unwilling! I wonder if there are any groups in Leeds where you can read aloud? Thanks for posting.


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