Running a book club: how to have huge fun with books, develop a reading culture, and raise standards

Published on: 07 December 2023

We at BookTrust know the value of a school having a culture of reading for pleasure, and that a book club can stimulate engagement with books.

The recent DfE Reading Framework suggests a book club as one way that schools can encourage reading for pleasure. We asked teacher Jon Ringer for his top tips on running a successful book club.

A book club on stage with author MG Leonard

Photo courtesy of Still Moving Media

I have been running a book club at Sheepscombe Primary School near Stroud for eight years. The Mad Hatters Cake Eating Book Club has transformed reading in my setting. It has resulted in a vibrant, dynamic reading culture in our school, placing Reading for Pleasure front and centre.

The club came about as the result of my involvement in the Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils scheme and many of the ideas listed below have their source in the vision of this project and through nearly a decade of professional dialogue with colleagues who make up the Stroud RT=RP book group.

There are many ways to set up and run a book club but below I describe some of the tried and tested principles that have worked for me.

Explore our Primary Schools hub

Head over to our Primary hub to find lots of tips and tricks about building a reading culture in your school community and encouraging families to get reading at home.

Take a look