Book Groups

Being part of a book group is a popular pastime and there are a number of active groups in Perth and Kinross.

We have a large collection of  Book Group Sets (link opens a PDF) exclusively for the use of groups that are registered with the library service.

Starting a Book Group

While some are library-run, most are private, so if you don’t know anybody in a group, you may wish to start one yourself. It can be as casual as a few friends meeting to chat about a chosen title or a larger, more formal group who specify membership criteria and have structured meetings.

Structure of the group

Book groups can have as few as 3 or 4 members. There is no upper limit but existing ones have found that things become unmanageable with more than 12 people.  Meetings can take place in a variety of locations; a small set of friends may decide to take it in turns to host the group in their own home, while people who don’t know each other very well may prefer to meet on neutral territory such as a café.

Once the venue has been chosen, you need to decide when and how often you will meet.  Some groups get together on the last Thursday of every month, for example, while others operate on an ad hoc basis. Everyone in the group should agree on the date and time.

Choosing what to read and talk about

There’s a huge range of possibilities open to you – this is part of the pleasure of being in a book group.  You can take turns to suggest a title, debate what to read next or use the Sunday supplements for ideas. You can introduce fellow members to your favourite author or book, or all take a gamble and try something completely unknown.

Having read the agreed book, the group meets to discuss it.  Book group members and their approaches vary widely; some look for hidden meanings and carry out a thorough literary critique, while others prefer to simply say whether or not they enjoyed the book and why. There is no specific formula that must be followed.

If you would like some ideas on what to talk about, here are some suggestions for fiction (link opens a PDF) and non-fiction (link opens a PDF) titles.  Differing opinions lead to interesting discussions!

What we offer

We have a dedicated Book Group Collection which contains multiple copy fiction and non-fiction book sets exclusively for the use of book groups that are registered with the library service. The Book Group Collection is regularly reviewed and updated with input from book group members. The full list of Book Group Sets (link opens a PDF) is available to view.

Getting started

Groups must be registered with us in order to use this service. Collect a form from any library or download the  Book Group Registration Form (link opens a PDF) for this purpose and return via your local library or follow the instructions to post the completed form to the Book Group Team. This form contains all the information we need to register your group. There is a Book Group Reservation Service fee of £6 per member per year so please ensure the relevant fee accompanies the completed Registration Form.

When your registration form and payment have been received, the Book Group team will contact you to discuss the book selection process and arrange delivery of your first collection to your specified library.

If you would like further information or have a query about the Book Group Service please email [email protected]

Online Book Groups

We have an online Facebook group, Café Books (link opens in a new tab), which is free to join (Facebook account required).