New Books, New Readers

Community-based facilitated reading and discussion groups for all readers


Jan Bindas-Tenney
Program Officer
(207) 773-5051

New Books, New Readers

Discussion groups for all readers

New Books, New Readers is a community-based facilitated reading and discussion group. The program specially curates texts that meet the needs of the community for adults reading at various literacy levels and for speakers of other languages. Our series include children’s books, poetry, essays, stories, audio, and visual texts. New Books, New Readers provides books for participants to keep and is free to our participants and partners.

The program can be sponsored by any organization that gathers people together. Over the past 20 years, we have partnered with adult education programs, literacy volunteers, correctional education programs, recovery centers, and public libraries.

The program accommodates all readers seamlessly into humanities-based discussions. Participants learn to relate literature to their own lives as well as understand themselves in relation to their world and each other.

New Books, New Readers decreases social isolation, provides space for participants to voice their opinions on big issues, and creates community. The conversations, like life, can be both serious and a whole lot of fun.

Each New Books, New Readers series meets for four sessions, using books from one of our 27 available titles. Each series draws on a theme that stretches participants to think and talk about big ideas, including Telling Our Stories, Memories, Friendship, and Conflict.


Explore our series

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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