Reading groups FAQs

How much does a Reading Group cost?
The annual subscription is £10.80. This provides access to over 1,000 Book Sets, for exclusive use by reading groups.
There is a 60p charge for each book borrowed, payable upon collection. The £10.80 subscription is the equivalent of £0.09 per person per month (for a group of 10 members.) On average it is less than the price of a paperback novel for a years reading for each member. Groups benefit from having dedicated bibliographic staff who organise reading groups sets and also support from their local library staff.

What do I get for the charge?
Reading groups are able to:
Choose from of over 1,000 books sets which can be browsed on the website.
Request new sets, those that are bought are then featured on the website so that groups can request them.
Book sets on loan for a 10 week loan period.
Reserve 5 book sets.

Why do we have the charge?
We have a charge in order to maintain this popular value added service rather than losing it or having to reduce it or other services. To continue supporting groups, we introduced this charge to cover some administrative cost of providing the service, which includes processing the books sets, dealing with new stock, sorting out late returns and loss of items. The Reading Group service is unique among our regional partners; we have dedicated reading group sets.

Where will the money go and what will it be used for?
The money will go to the library budget which supports the Reading Group service. The purchase and management of the book stock involves a lot of staff time. Staff also have to deal with all the work that comes from late and non return of items, especially the impact this has for groups with bookings for those sets.

Will my group have to pay the whole charge?
The £10.80 charge is a flat rate for groups. It is then 60p for each book issued; so the charge varies depending on the size of group and how much they use the service.

When should I start my membership?
Let us know when you are ready to start reading books, we will then charge you the subscription; and you are ready to start reserving books. Your 12 month subscription will commence when you tell us.

How often will I have to reserve a book?
Reading Groups have a 10 week loan (approximately 2.5 months) and 2 weeks to collect their reservations. It is good practice to reserve a book set every month; you could do this as part of your monthly meeting.

I have reserved a book, when will it arrive?
If you order a book set that is not on loan, and has no reservations it should be at your chosen pick-up library between 5-10 days.

On the website it says that my ‘Rank’ is 3 of 10, what does this mean? When will my reservation arrive?
The ‘Rank’ is the waiting list – 3 of 7 means you are third in the waiting list. Groups can borrow a title for 10 weeks (with 2 weeks to collect), so if you are third your reservation should arrive in approximately 36 weeks.

What prevents my 5 reservations arriving at once?
Nothing; if you order a book set that is not on loan, and has no reservations it should be at your chosen pick-up library between 5-10 days. However some book sets have long waiting times, you can use some of your 5 reservations to get your place in the waiting list.

On the Place Reservation page it says ‘Cancel my reservation after this date’ what does this mean?
This function allows unsatisfied reservations to be cancelled by a certain date, use the calendar to select a date about 2 years in the future.

Can any member of the group reserve a book set?
Anyone in the group who knows the Library card number and PIN can reserve a set of books. You could share this task.

Do I have to borrow my books together?
Yes you must borrow all the books you want together.

Do I have to return my books together?
We would prefer it if you returned the books together; however you can return your books to any library in East Sussex. Please return your books within the due date. Remember another group may want the set after you.

On the Edit Reservation page there is a ‘Suspend until’ will this guarantee my books arrive on a certain date?
No it does suspend your reservation but it doesn’t guarantee you will get it on your specified date if other people want it as well (or it is on loan).

What if my group has more than 10 members?
Our Reading Group offer is 10 books. If there are 2 sets of the same title, you can reserve both but there is no guarantee that both sets will arrive together.
You can reserve extra library copies on your personal Library Card – Reading Group cards are for Reading Group stock only. If you do borrow an extra library copy then normal charges and loan periods apply.

What if my group needs Large Print or Audio copies?
You can reserve Large Print and Audio on your personal Library Card. If you don’t normally pay charges there are no charges; otherwise normal charges and loan periods apply.
We have a free eBook/audiobook service.

What if my group has Exempt members (e.g. an adult experiencing a condition which makes handling or reading a printed book difficult. This could be a physical or mental health condition which is permanent or temporary)?
There is no 60p rental charge for your exempt member.

What if my group wants fewer copies than they reserved?
You only have to borrow and pay for the amount of copies you need.

What my group has difficulties paying the charge monthly (due to the way we collect our Group subscription)?
Please contact us online or let us know next time your visit the library.

What if my group changes its maximum size?
Please contact us online or let us know next time your visit the library.

What if my group wants to Request a book to be purchased?
Please contact us online or let us know next time your visit the library.

What if I have a query or complaint about the service?
Please contact us online or let us know next time your visit the library.

How can I get a list of the Reading Group sets?
Customers can browse and reserve reading groups sets via the elibrary. You can ask at your local library to print a list of books (printing charges apply).

Will I get the books I want?
We have over 1,000 reading group sets.
We add new sets every month.
We look at purchasing new sets from requests.
If a title is in high demand we buy extra sets.
We buy prize winners and new popular titles as well as classics and some non-fiction.

Visit our Reading Groups Homepage to see the titles available.