Once Upon a Time...
Our Oxford Reading Group began in the Summer of 2002. Originally conceived by Phil and Michael, the group was put together through acquaintances and an advertisement on the Bloomsbury website. We've been meeting in and around Oxford (or on Zoom when we have to) ever since. There are currently about twelve of us in the group. We've found the more diverse the group the better so we aim for a healthy balance of gender, age and occupation.
How does it work?
We meet once a month, almost always on the second Friday of the month, at 7.30pm, taking it in turns to host. The person who hosts provides dinner for everyone (when we're meeting in person) and also chooses the next book. We arrange the location of the next meeting during that meeting. We currently have about 12 members, all living in or near to Oxford.
What sorts of books do you read?
There are no rules but we've tended to stick to fiction published over the last century that has been recommended in some way to us. We've covered different genres including children's books (Northern Lights), Sci-Fi (A Scanner Darkly) and Crime (Motherless Brooklyn) and found that one of the delights of being part of a reading group is the chance to read novels that we wouldn't normally consider. See Books We've Read for novels we have read and for the novel we are currently reading.
As books are selected by the meeting host there's not much point contacting us about the book you've just published and you'd like us to all buy and read: this simply isn't how books are selected by the group!
Can I join?
Please contact us if you are interested in joining and we will get back to you if we have a space available.
How does it work if I get a space?
We have previously had people say they want to join and then keep not showing up without letting us know so we have introduced a few rules about new members which are worth mentioning here. If you're invited to come along and given dates/places but don't make it within three meetings you're not invited again, as we do have quite a few requests to join. Similarly, if you come to one meeting but don't make either of the next two you generally won't be invited again – though exceptions can be made if you know in advance you will be away. If you come along but then decide you don't want to join that's fine, we won't be offended, but please do let us know. Similarly, we want to maintain the atmosphere we have within the group so if we feel new members don't fit for some reason we may decide not to invite them again (though we find any rejection tends to be mutual!)