How Do Book Groups Work?


What are BDS book groups all about?

The idea behind our book groups is to encourage reading, to promote discussion about the books that are read, and to build connections and friendships within communities. 

We lend books and accompanying discussion notes to book groups anywhere in New Zealand.  Participating groups make their book selections from our extensive catalogue.  A group meets on a regular basis to discuss the book they've chosen to read. Each member of a group reads the same book at the same time.

Participating book groups:

  • are self-directed
  • can meet anywhere such as in a home, cafe, workplace or library
  • can be as social or as serious as you like!

  • How many books do I get to read?

    If you participate in the full programme, you receive one of your book choices each month for a period of 10 months (a total of 10 books within the membership period). Christchurch groups who collect their books from the BDS office are entitled to a free ‘holiday read’ (an 11th book).

    For busy people there's the half programme, in which case you receive one of your selected books every two months (a total of 5 books within the membership period).

    We also offer a student programme to secondary schools (5 books in the first half of the academic year).

    All books and discussion notes are on loan. We deliver anywhere, so it doesn't matter where your group is located!

    For up-to-date information on the cost of joining, please refer to FAQs (our frequently asked questions section).

    When do groups meet?

    If you are part of a full programme, your group meets monthly on your chosen day and week (e.g. the second Tuesday of the month). There are both daytime and evening groups in the scheme.

    Those groups in the half programme receive one of their book choices every two months and meet every two months, which allows more time to read each selection.

    You can start a new group at anytime during the year except during the Christmas holiday period.  When you co-ordinate a group, we refer to you as the convenor of the group.

    How do I start a new group?

    We can offer you tips on how to publicise your new group and get members. We can also place a notice on our website notice board, as a way of connecting interested people to your group. The recommended group size is 7 to 12 members.

    To join up for either a full programme or half programme click on Start a Group. We will send you an enrolment pack, which includes our handbook, catalogue of books and helpful info for setting up your own book group.

    How do I join an existing group?

    To join an existing group, click Find a Group. You will see the groups that are looking for new members.  Click on Contact Us and let us know which group you're interested in.  We will advise you of the contact details for that group.

    Further Information

    For further information and the cost of joining, please refer to FAQs (our frequently asked questions section). 


    The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
    BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations