reading groups to most people, and they expect middle age, middle class and
Reading groups are a growing
force in publishing, and some big name titles owe their success to
word-of-mouth recommendation through book groups. For instance:
Number One Ladies
Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by
Louis de Bernières
Devine Sisters of the YaYa Sisterhood by
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
These novels were originally published
with little fanfair or publicity budget and they owe their best-seller status
to reading groups. Publishers are now trying to woo reading groups by offering
free advance copies, group discounts and even access to authors.
So it is a surprise that most literary festivals
ignore reading groups and concentrate on the big authors whose names sell
However the Chipping Norton Literary Festival
will put reading groups centre stage when they host their Book Groups - Not Just Tea and Biscuits forum.
Panelists include Sarah
Turvey, who runs prison book groups, and Genevieve Clarke from The Reading
Agency, a charity promoting literacy, and Yvonne Barlow editor of Hookline
Books where reading groups choose the novels that go to print.
Chairing the event will be Sue MacGregor,
former BBC presenter.
We hope the event will prove that book groups
have moved on from the stereotype of middle-brow chintz and tea.
Book Groups – Not Just Tea and Biscuits.
22 April, 11am.
Jaffe & Neale Bookshop
Please visit: http://chiplitfest.com