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The sessions are fun, welcoming and I’ve made new friends."

EB, Shared Reading participant

Shared Reading is a community programme delivered by Derby Book Festival. Our Shared Reading groups aim to improve wellbeing and alleviate feelings of isolation through a warm welcome and friendly conversation.

What happens at a Shared Reading session? All kinds of material is shared: poems, short plays, comedy sketches, song lyrics, diary entries, letters and short stories - anything goes. These friendly and inclusive sessions are guided by trained volunteers. People only read out loud and chat if they want to. Lots of people join our Shared Reading sessions just to listen. Everyone is welcome.

How is the reading material chosen? Volunteers and participants choose the reading material to share at the sessions.

Who would benefit from Shared Reading? Anyone can benefit from our friendly Shared Reading sessions, including people who enjoy reading, are looking for new groups to join, or to make new friends. 

See below for details of our free, regular Shared Reading groups in Derby. Everyone is welcome. No need to book.


Artcore café 8 Albert St, Osnabruck Sq., Derby, DE1 2DS

Weekly: Every Thursday 11.30am -12.30pm

No booking necessary – just pop along and join in.

Riverside Library Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS

Monthly: Wednesdays 10.30-11.30am (2nd Wednesday of each month)

  • 12th June
  • 10th July
  • 14th August
  • 11th September
  • 9th October
  • 13th October

No booking necessary – just pop along and join in.

Mickleover Library Holly End Rd, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 0EA

Fortnightly: Tuesdays 2-3pm  unless*  which runs 12:45-1:45pm

Send an email to shared.reading@derbybookfestival.co.uk so we can secure your place at Mickleover library.  The next sessions are:

  • 4th June
  • 18th June
  • 2nd July
  • 16th July
  • 30th July
  • 13th August*   12:45 - 1:45pm
  • 27th August


Alvaston Library 1252 London Road, Derby, DE24 8QP

Fortnightly: Thursdays 10.30 - 11.30am

  • 30th May
  • 13th June
  • 27th June
  • 11th July
  • 25th July
  • 8th August
  • 22nd August

No booking necessary – just pop along and join in.

Online Shared Reading group

Weekly: Tuesdays 2-3pm

Email shared.reading@derbybookfestival.co.uk for the Zoom link to join these sessions.


Want to know more? Email us at: shared.reading@derbybookfestival.co.uk

Latest free Shared Reading events around Derby:

We'll be at the Takeover Day at Derby College 10am - 3pm on 2nd June, so come and say hello and find out more about Shared Reading. 

Refugee Week event: 1 - 3pm on 20th June at Riverside library, Derby

Join us for a Shared Reading session with our community volunteers. This session will include poetry and literature written by and for refugees, and the wider community, shining a light on stories of home, hope and connection. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event. However, booking a place in advance is essential. Please book your place on the Derby Book Festival website.


Our Values:

Accessible - we aim to ensure our SR groups are accessible to the whole community and celebrate diversity

Enriching - we aim for our SR groups to encourage conversation and discussions

Inclusive - we celebrate our diverse communities, and ensure our SR groups are suitable for individual needs

Inspiring - we hope our SR groups inspire generations of readers through discussions and conversations

Why not drop into one of our Shared Reading open sessions at a library or community hub near you?  No need to book – everyone is very welcome. See the list above for details.  

Want to know more? Email: shared.reading@derbybookfestival.co.uk

Join us at our free and friendly Shared Reading sessions.

We provide all the materials – just turn up and enjoy! There is no pressure to read if you'd prefer to just listen.

Shared Reading Videos

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Shared Reading: Hope is the Thing With Feathers

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Shared Reading: New Every Morning

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Shared reading: I Go Down to the Shore by Mary Oliver