Reading Friends for everyone

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Reading Friends for everyone


Let's talk about books!

We are working with the Reading Agency to use the proven power of reading to tackle loneliness and support mental health, as part of the country’s COVID-19 recovery.

The 'Read, Talk, Share' campaign offers Reading Friends, a reading befriending programme which starts conversations and connects people who are feeling lonely and isolated. We have been awarded £10,500 of funding from the Reading Agency to take part in the programme.

All following free events are part of our busy Reading Friends scheme. See what's going on!

You can book your place for all events via Eventbrite.

Books are bridges

Reading Groups, Author's Visits and More


Two different book groups are running (you are welcome to join both), one for fiction fans and one for thrill-seekers. All the books discussed are available on BorrowBox on an unlimited basis, so there's no need to wait or queue.

The Thrills Fans book group is meeting on Thursday 4 March, 7-8pm, and we are reading 'The Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox' by Claire Gradidge (available both in e-book and e-audio book format) - a World War II tale of family secrets. Book your place here.

The Fiction Fans book group will meet in the afternoon at the end of March/beginning of April (date to be confirmed).


We are so lucky we have a few popular authors visiting us virtually to read extracts from their works and share their own experiences of writing and getting published. All talks are free.  

Julie Corbin, psychological thrillers author, with seven novels published and one coming in the autumn, on Thursday, 18 March, at 7pm. Book on Eventbrite.

Anthony J Quinn, critically acclaimed writer of nine crime novels, the latest is “Turncoat”. He is going to be with us on Tuesday 23 March, at 3pm. Joint event with Wokingham Libraries. Book on Eventbrite.

Peter Lovesey, internationally renowned author of over 30 mysteries, including the series featuring Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond, a golden age-style detective. The online event is on Thursday 25 March, at 3.30pm. Book on Eventbrite.

Annie Murray, born in Berkshire and popular author of historical fiction and family sagas, with over 27 books out and one coming this April, on Friday 23 April, at 2pm. Book on Eventbrite.



Befriending service over the phone - Our friendly staff are available over the phone Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, for a chat about books or any enquiries at Bracknell, Binfield, Crowthorne, Sandhurst and Whitegrove Libraries (please check the links to see when each library is staffed before calling).

We are happy to help with a variety of enquiries, including: 

  • library book renewals
  • digital access
  • lockdown delivery service
  • membership
  • reading suggestions
  • or if you just need a chat - we are always here for you.



Get the most from online reading and discover BorrowBox - a short introduction to our e-book and e-audio book service plus tips and tricks. There’ll also be time to ask questions and share book recommendations. Join us on Friday, 5 March, at 11.30am. Free. Book on Eventbrite.


Are you part of a reading group? Let Bracknell Forest Libraries know. We can:

  • Provide free books on loan and reading suggestions
  • Share our online reading material
  • Promote the group if you are looking for new members.

Get to know Bracknell's story and create your family tree

Local and family studies events to learn about where to get resources and information


Tracing your ancestors with Ancestry and Bracknell Libraries - Friday 12 March, 2pm. Since library members can currently research family history for free with Ancestry Library Edition from home, join us for an online tutorial to help you get started. There will also be time to trace your family tree with members of the Bracknell Forest U3A Family History group on hand to share their expertise. Free. Book on Eventbrite.

Discover and chat about the history of Bracknell - Monday 15 March, 11.30am. A talk about the local studies resources at Bracknell Library, including our newspapers, photos and historical maps, for exploring the history of Bracknell and its people. There will also be a chance to share your memories of the town and ask questions. Free. Book on Eventbrite.

Caring for your own collection, talk with the Berkshire Record Office - Tuesday 16 March, 2pm. The Berkshire Record Office will offer us a talk about family collections. In this 45 minutes online session you will get practical advice for all the things in your loft. Free. Book on Eventbrite.

Get Fit with Sarah, exercise for young and old


Weekly virtual sessions of jump and bounce for children and seated exercise for grown-ups


Children's exercise - starting on Monday 22 March at 9.30am. Around 20 minutes. Weekly sessions for children. Book on Eventbrite.

Seated exercise session for grown-ups - starting on Wednesday 24 March, at 2pm. The session will include 20 minutes exercise and 10 minutes chit chat. Book on Eventbrite.

All sessions are all free of charge.

Reading Friends for Children


Free activities for children to establish and boost their love for reading

  • NEW! Chatterbooks Reading Group - weekly sessions every Thursday at 4pm. This book group encourages children to have a lot of fun with their reading: they can talk about the books they have been reading, get new ideas and take part in fun activities inspired by the books, including crafts, quizzes and games. Age: 7-11 years old. Each week a different theme. Book on Eventbrite.
  • The Gruffalo, Virtual Storytime - Join us on Saturday 6 March, 10.30am to meet mouse, fox, owl, snake and the Gruffalo in the deep dark wood. Free. Book on Eventbrite
  • Guess How Much I Love You, Virtual Storytime - on Saturday 27 March, 10.30am, we will be reading this children's classic. Free. Book on Eventbrite.

Loneliness? No, thank you!


More events to come

We are organising more activities and groups to beat loneliness and isolation. The first one is the online Spring time quiz, on Wednesday 31 March, starting at 2pm, the perfect opportunity to have some fun testing your knowledge of all things spring. Friendly and informal. Free. You can join as an individual or as an household. Book on Eventbrite

We are also planning other groups, watch this space and check all future activities and events here.

More books to read!

A round-up of our new e-books on BorrowBox


World Book Day on 4 March

Changing lives through a love of books and shared reading


From the World Book Day website:

"Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. 

How can public libraries help?

Libraries play a unique role in promoting reading in communities. As a free public service they can provide a stepping-stone to engagement with reading and book buying for less engaged readers and disadvantaged communities. Working together, World Book Day and libraries can promote reading, help change attitudes to book accessibility and encourage engagement with book shops and the wider world of books overall."

Check World Book Day's fantastic resources

Help with completing the Census 2021


Phone and in person appointments available

The census is taking place on Sunday, 21 March and is a big count of everyone in England and Wales. It's everyone's duty to complete it, because it helps decide how services are funded in all areas.

In March you will receive a letter that will tell you everything you need to know about how to complete the Census 2021 form online and the code to access it.

Bracknell and Crowthorne Libraries will be providing help over the phone and one-to-one appointments in person to complete the form digitally.

Please call 01344 352409, Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm, to ask questions or book an appointment for completing the form. Outside of these hours, call Bracknell Library (01344 423149) or Crowthorne Library (01344 776431) directly.  

More about the Census on the official website.

Coming soon...

Check our website and social media for next events and initiatives, from Easter crafts to two exciting free workshops with Explore Learning.

Keep up to date

For more up to date information please follow Bracknell Forest Libraries on:

Bracknell Forest Library website

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