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New Books, New Readers

Encouraging reluctant adult readers to find the joy in reading.


Leah Kuehn
Program Officer
phone: 773-5051


New Books, New Readers

"I never imagined I could belong to a book group."

New Books, New Readers is a book discussion program for adults who are new readers or who are not in the habit of reading. It opens the world of books and ideas using literature that is accessible and thought-provoking and encourages reading as an enjoyable lifelong personal and family activity. Participants learn to love reading by engaging in facilitated discussions that relate a book’s themes to their own lives. They are given a copy of every book in the series to keep and are encouraged to share their enjoyment with family and friends.

Humanities-based book discussion using the New Books, New Readers model was designated a “Promising Practice” by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, in partnership with the New England Literacy Resource Center, in 2004. More information can be seen at the NELRC website.

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What people are saying about New Books, New Readers

  • "[The experience of reading] goes into my heart. I read [the books] all the time...and every time they touch me more. They change my life around..."

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • "I've seen the courage it takes to come here and the joy people take from the stories... I've never seen readers take so much from the stories."


  • "Even reluctant speakers become leaders in linking literature to their hopes and aspirations."


  • "I look at a book from a different point of view. To talk about the books in the groups is even better. You get to see how other people interpret the same book. ...New Books, New Readers has changed the way I look at books.

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • "I am more at ease with myself and the people around me because I have opened my mind to another experience."

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • "You couldn't get me to read a book before. Now I love to pick up a book. I like to read now. I used to hate it and now I pick up a book every time I turn around.

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • “I love being able to look at books in a new and different way. It gives a new and different perspective on the book and on life -- that sometimes maybe some things aren’t so bad.”

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • “I have never looked at a book as a whole like we did in [New Books, New Readers], there were a lot of things I would never have thought about when reading until we discussed and broke it down.”

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

  • "I am 92 years old and maybe I am the oldest student, but I am looking forward to doing this group again. Thank you. "

    -- New Books, New Readers participant

Funded By:

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MHC’s Winter Weekend

Helen & George Ladd Charitable Corporation

Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust

With support from individual donors around the state of Maine

Inspired By:

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