Two-thirds of reading group participants say they have a better understanding of the world from taking part in the groups, a survey by The Reading Agency shows.
The poll of 1,000 participants to mark National Reading Group Day on 20th June, showed 87% thought they had a better understanding of other points of view from being involved.
Key reasons cited for joining the groups included a desire to read different types of books (78%) and discuss them with other people (85%), with many saying the diversity within their groups often led to more interesting and varied discussions.
It also also showed an appetite from readers for books offering varied insights, particularly those which could broaden their knowledge of the world and other cultures or people’s lives.
The Reading Agency has the UK’s largest reading group network: Reading Groups for Everyone. It will be marking National Reading Group Day with an online discussion on Facebook (@readingagency) at 11 a.m.
Following a public vote, the winning book selected for discussion was The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (Zaffre), with the discussion open to everyone, and questions posted throughout the hour for participants to comment on and discuss.
Lefteri said: ‘’I’m so delighted that The Beekeeper of Aleppo has been chosen to be at the centre of discussion on The Reading Agency‘s National Reading Group Day. I believe books can be agents for change and are made to be talked about and shared, which is why I couldn’t be happier that my novel will be part of so many discussions with reading groups around the country, talking about themes and issues relating to refugees, trauma, belonging, courage and hope – all of which couldn’t be more important to contemplate and talk about in the time we are currently living through.”