Is Reading in a Group Better than Reading Alone?

So true

Reading time: 2 minutes

One of the participants of a bookclub I’m running, the Storyworthy Book Program, sent this beautiful message on our private Telegram channel:

“I’d like to share my enthusiasm for Matthew Dicks’ language with you. His writing is easy to understand even though he uses words that I don’t know.

His sentences are simple in structure but full of beauty. He manages to create images and feelings in me that have a lasting effect. I would like to learn that, too.

I admire a lot his ability to use so beautiful expressions, many of which I didn’t hear before. For example, “Your stories must leave lasting marks on the souls”, “A story is like a diamond with many facets”, “to feel like a critical cog in the gears of the universe”, “throwaway days”, “to have the story lens intact”, to name just a few.”


I never paid attention to that! This comment made me realise two things:

  1. I don’t pay attention to how writers use language and how this can evoke feelings in the reader. This might be why some people are so much into poetry and literature, something I struggle to understand.
  2. Reading and discussing books with other people could help me see things I wouldn’t normally be able to notice. I can get to understand and appreciate what I’ve read even more.

I always read alone and hardly ever talk about what I read with others. I think this is why most times I even forget about what I’ve read. 

When the first Storyworthy Book Program ended in the spring of 2022, I thought, Wait a minute, I now want to discuss another book with these people! 

So I’m thinking, how cool would it be to discuss some of my favourite books with my learners? 

This will help me because I’ll learn from them and their unique perspectives, while they’ll read real books – not crappy textbook articles! – speak about them, share their personal stories related to what they read and, most important, forget they’re actually learning English.

Plus, knowing I have to discuss what I’m reading will motivate me to read actively, take notes and actually…read! 

No more passive reading. No more “I never have enough time to read books” or “I wish I could read more”, two thoughts that often come to visit my mind.

It’s a win-win!

What do you think? Is reading in a group better than reading on your own? Or should reading be treated as an introspective, private and self-reflective activity? 

Please leave a comment in the box below or email me directly (see my contact page).

Fabio Cerpelloni is an easy-going English teacher who helps adult learners speak better English through personal storytelling classes and book discussions. You can join his private email list by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.

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