Currently we run eight community reading groups in the Bath and N E Somerset area.
- weekly drop-in reading session/book chat at Julian House Night Shelter. Mr B’s Bookshop donates remaindered books for the much-used Julian House bookshelf, ensuring clients are reading very up-to-date titles!
- weekly reading group for Genesis clients who bring their own reading material to share with the group.
- weekly ‘Better with a Book’ GP referral session at Keynsham Library for people suffering from bereavement, depression, chronic pain or generally struggling with life.
- twice weekly reading group at Stratton House care home, Bath.
- fortnightly reading group at Avondown Guinness Trust Housing.
- weekly reading group at Ivybank care home, Bath.
- weekly group at Walcot Court care home
Comments from ‘ Better with a Book’
- ‘We’ve come a long way since reading all the obituary poems.’
- ‘When I’m having a bad day the books take my mind off it.’
- ‘I’m reading books I’ve never thought I’d read.’
- ‘Listening to you reading ‘Cider with Rosie’ has taken me back to my happy childhood.’
Each reading group is unique and responds to the needs and interests of the client group. Some groups are happy to sit back and enjoy being read to, while others are keen to participate, often suggesting titles or bringing their own choices to share. Age is no barrier to taste – a couple of elderly groups have enjoyed ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Room’ as well as poetry by Carol Ann Duffy and Roger McGough. Another group is listening to extracts from Betty Boothroyd’s biography. Our Julian House readers vary week on week but there is a huge appetite for reading and invariably stimulating discussions around the titles we bring.