Thanks to A Little, Aloud, the word about reading aloud is spreading further and wider. Agebomb, a site published by Geraldine Bedel, is “an attempt to monitor the changing landscape brought about by population explosion” and, after hearing about the book, has visited one of our Get Into Reading groups and written about ‘The Joy of Reading Aloud’:

Until recently, though, it hadn’t occurred to me that reading aloud was a perfect pastime for older people. Listening to the written word in the company of others and discussing what you have heard is about as un-patronising an activity as you could find: democratic, shared, and exhilarating, allowing individuals to find meaning together, to make connections and uncover memories.

Read it in full.

The Reader Organisation Showcases

Want to know more about The Reader Organisation and Get Into Reading? Interested in running or commissioning shared reading group projects but not sure how to go about it? Need to know how Read to Lead Training can improve your services?

Well, now all of these questions can be answered at our new Showcase events:

Showcases are free, two-hour events in which you can meet The Reader Organisation face to face and find out the answers to these questions. Through a detailed presentation, beneficiary case stories and readings from key members of TRO staff you will gain a deeper understanding of what we do, how we do it, and, crucially, how you can get involved. It is your first step towards becoming a part of the Reading Revolution!

The next Showcases will be held on the following dates and locations:

  • Wednesday 20th October, 2pm-4pm: London
  • Monday 15th November, 2pm – 4pm: Birmingham
  • Monday 29th November, 2pm-4pm: London

Showcases are free events but you must book your place in order to attend. Spaces are limited, so it is advised to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. To book your place, or to find out more, please contact Mark Till, Training Officer, on or 0151 794 2286

TRO shortlisted for Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Award

It’s been a week of excitement here at The Reader Organisation and it’s not over yet:

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted as part of the Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards! We’ve been nominated in the Best Entrepreneurial Charity or Social Enterprise in Liverpool.

The awards were established in 2007 and are designed to encourage entrepreneurship in the North West and North Wales – whether in new businesses, young entrepreneurs, social enterprises or charities. More info here.

The ceremony will be held on 11th November, so we’ll let you know the outcome then – until then, wish us luck!

Angela Macmillan on Open Book

Hear Angela Macmillan, the Editor of A Little, Aloud (published today!) – and also one of the editors of The Reader magazine – talking with Mariella Frostrup and Joanna Trollope on Radio 4’s ‘Open Book’ this afternoon at 4pm about the pleasure and benefits of reading aloud (or if you can’t wait, you can listen to the show’s original broadcast from Sunday on iPlayer right now).

“Being read to is the beguiling beginning of learning to love reading – it opens the door to absolutely everything and anything we might want to do in life.”
Joanna Trollope

A Little, Aloud: OUT NOW!

A Little, Aloud (ed. by Angela Macmillan) is available to buy online (from Amazon and Waterstone’s, plus others…), and in bookstores across the UK from today! We hope that the book brings you, and those that you read it aloud with, great enjoyment and treasured moments. Please leave us comments here on our blog telling your stories about who you’ve been reading it with and where – we’d love you to share those special moments with us.

Below are a few photographs from last night’s launch event in Waterstone’s Liverpool ONE. We were joined by Alan Yates (Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Trust) who spoke warmly and genuinely about the huge benefits of Get Into Reading both in the trust and for him personally, and Janet Suzman who read two poems from A Little, Aloud and told us how she is having the time of her life directing Antony and Cleopatra at Liverpool’s Playhouse theatre:

Angela Macmillan, Alan Yates, Janet Suzman (reading), Jane Davis (and some low evening sunlight!)
Angela Macmillan reading 'Friendship' from the book
It's really here... and flying off the shelves already!

A Little, Aloud Liverpool Launch: SOLD OUT!

The Liverpool launch for A Little, Aloud (edited by Angela Macmillan) has now SOLD OUT! If you weren’t able to get a ticket in time, there’s still a chance to catch the London launch with a panel discussion featuring Angela Macmillan, Jane Davis and our patron Blake Morrison, and readings by Richard Briers and Joanna Trollope: Waterstone’s Piccadilly, Monday 4th October at 6.30pm (call 020 7851 2400 to book your place).

For those of you attending on Wednesday, a reminder of the details:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010, 6:00PM

Join The Reader Organisation, Academy Award nominated Janet Suzman, and Alan Yates (CEO, Mersey Care NHS Trust) with some special guests in a evening of readings and discussions about reading aloud for health and wellbeing to launch A Little, Aloud.

— — —

A Little, Aloud: an anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud to someone you care for edited by Angela Macmillan with The Reader Organisation is published by Chatto & Windus on 30th September.

A Little, Aloud: Janet Suzman confirmed for Liverpool Launch

Janet Suzman reading from Great Expectations at the Penny Readings 2008

The magnificent, Academy Award nominated, Janet Suzman, who is currently directing Kim Cattrall in a much-anticipated production of Antony and Cleopatra at Liverpool Playhouse (opens 8th October), will be doing a special reading as part of the launch event for A Little, Aloud in Liverpool next week. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this one:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010, 6:00PM

Join The Reader Organisation, Janet Suzman and Alan Yates (CEO, Mersey Care NHS Trust) and some special guests in a evening of readings and discussions about reading aloud for health and wellbeing to launch A Little, Aloud.

Spot The Reader!

About eighteen months ago, I received a call from a production assistant of a film asking if I could send a selection of back issues of The Reader magazine to Pinewood Studios. “They’re going to be in the main character’s – a writer – room, on the bookshelves, are you happy to allow us do that?” Happy? To see The Reader on a large screen? You bet. (Most people pay for this sort of product placement, don’t they?)

I made note of the film, Tamara Drewe, in my diary for the scheduled release date (September 2010) and somewhat forgot about it. Now, here we are at that time, the film’s a huge success and I haven’t yet been to see and try to spot The Reader (but it is my mission at the weekend). Have you?! Please let me know if you see those copies on the bookshelf.

It may look like this...

In case you miss it on the big screen, you can a copy of The Reader to see it for yourself: visit the magazine pages on our website.

Rising to the Literacy Challenge: Building a bright future for Britain

Tuesday 21 September 2010, 17.30-18.30
Starbucks Coffee House, Liverpool ONE (free coffee and cake)

Jane Davis joins Lord Graham Tope, Judy Friedberg (Guardian), Jonathan Douglas (Director, National Literacy Trust) in a panel discussion chaired by the New Stateman‘s Spencer Neal about how changes to the literacy landscape under the new Coalition Government could enable us to rise to the literacy challenge.

This event is one of a series of fringe debate events the National Literacy Trust are holding at each political party conference this autumn. The events, kindly supported by Starbucks, will give the panellists the chance to explain their ideas for how we can create a more literate Britain. Given the wide range of specialisms among the speakers the discussion will focus on a number of areas surrounding the literacy landscape including libraries, schools and early years settings.

For further information about these events, click here.

A Little, Aloud: An anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud to someone you care for

Published 30th September

The Reader Organisation has joined forces with Chatto & Windus to publish A Little, Aloud, a selection of the very best prose and poetry especially chosen for reading aloud – to your husband or wife, a sick parent or child, an elderly relative, to someone who finds it hard to concentrate for long or simply someone who will enjoy being read to. Through our work, we are discovering that reading aloud brings remarkable health and happiness benefits: it stimulates thought and memory, encourages the sharing of ideas and feelings, hopes and fears – enriching our lives and minds.

Angela Macmillan’s wonderful collection has something for everyone – from Shakespeare, Dickens, George Eliot and the Brontës, to Chekhov, Seamus Heaney, Doris Lessing, Elizabeth Jennings, Saki, Anna Sewell and more – all tried and tested by us, and with lively reading notes and ideas based on actual discussions from our ‘Get Into Reading’ groups.

All royalties in full go to The Reader Organisation.

“Reading aloud is an activity that everyone can take part in. It sharpens the intellect, invigorates the imagination and enlarges the scope of human sympathy. If we all read aloud every day, the world would be a better place.” Philip Pullman

“I think this book is an incredible invention, and like all great inventions, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.’’ Maureen Lipman

“I read to stroke victims so know first-hand the power of good that reading aloud can do. This first-rate collection is a real treasure trove and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”  Richard Briers

“Being read to is the beguiling beginning of learning to love reading – it opens the door to absolutely everything and anything we might want to do in life.”
Joanna Trollope

A Little, Aloud is wonderful – a luscious, challenging enticement to read and hear and share the love of doing both.” Howard Jacobson

“Reading aloud is pleasure. Pure pleasure.” Stephen Fry

A perfect gift for Christmas – for you, or those you care for – buy here.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010, 6:00 PM

Join The Reader Organisation and some special guests in a evening of readings and discussions about reading aloud for health and wellbeing to launch A Little, Aloud in its home town.

Further details: call 0151 709 9820 (tickets are free) SOLD OUT

Monday, 4 October 2010, 6:30PM

An evening of readings and discussions about reading aloud for health and well-being to launch A Little, Aloud, with special guests Joanna Trollope, Blake Morrison and Richard Briers.

Further details: call 020 7851 2400 (tickets £3 (redeemable against purchase of the book on the night)

Angela Macmillan is co-editor of The Reader magazine, published quarterly.