About Riverside Readers / FAQs

Origins of The Riverside Readers

In the words of the founder of Riverside Readers – Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads:

“In May 2009 I decided I wanted to join a new book group because the previous one I had co-started all went to pot (got very, very regulated, expensive and taken over by one voice). In fact, I had been saying to a non-blogging friend that we should set one up and I would do some research. I looked around and contacted a few people and nothing really seemed to be happening. I emailed fellow London book blogger Kimbofo (Reading Matters) and discussions started between us of the idea of forming a book group in London. Now if you are thinking ‘there must be lots of book groups in London’ that isn’t actually the case. There are some but not any actually in central London — and so we decided to start one.”

Since Simon moved up North in 2011, I, Novel Insights, am the caretaker of the Riverside Readers book group. It stays true to (I hope) Simon’s original philosophy of being frugal, fun and friendly five years later.

What are the rules of Riverside Readers / how does it work?

The Riverside Readers believe that our group should be fun and the whole idea is that we have a good natter about a book chosen every month by people who love reading, so there are just a few guidelines. The below points, are all agreed by the current members and will be reviewed every so often to make sure they work for the group. Very simply;

  • The book group will normally the first Tuesday of every month
  • The venue will be in Central London (the name of the group should give you some indication of where it is!)
  • Everyone gets a chance to choose a book in the group and that person’s choice is final
  • If someone misses several groups in a row we think it’s fair that more regular attendees will be given a chance ahead of them
  • It won’t be pricey, we are (still) in a tough economic situation – no book will cost more than £10 to buy and we meet at a venue where you have a snack or a drink, but there is no obligation to
  • Everyone is given a chance to speak; there are no right or wrong answers

What if I don’t live in London?

You can live it vicariously through this blog, which will be updated after each book group has met. The person who chooses each book is responsible for summarising the group’s thoughts on their choice.

When is the next meeting and what is the book?

The Riverside Readers meet on the first Tuesday of every month and you can see the next read on the front page of this site.


One thought on “About Riverside Readers / FAQs

  1. Harold "Hal" DuBois November 10, 2010 / 10:08 am

    Greetings from Ohio!

    I’m writing from Kent, Ohio (USA), which sits on the banks of the infamous Cuyahoga River (the “crooked river”).

    In association with my family’s bookstore (est. 1936) and Kent State University (est. 1910), I have recently established a group of adult lifelong learners called “Ingensia”. Our pilot project will be a community reading of “Hamlet”, written awhile back by some English guy. The project will begin officially on February 2 with a reader’s theatre event at Riverside Wine & Imports by a group I got the idea of calling “The Riverside Readers”. One quick googling of the name, and here I am!

    Could we “join” your group in a loose bond of like-minded pursuit? I have initiated a blog profile here as well, and would be thrilled if some or all members of your group could participate virtually when all our readers get together on April 13 to share perspectives, an event we will call “Cafe Elsinore”. (KSU will be mounting their production beginning April 15.)

    All the best,


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