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History & Mission


National Reading Group Month (NRGM) is the innovation of sisters Martha Burns and Alice Dillon, Women's National Book Association (WNBA) members and the authors of Reading Group Journal: Notes in the Margin (Abbeville Press).

The WNBA launched National Reading Group Month in October 2007 as the premier event of its 90th anniversary. Special events held in chapter cities featured best-selling authors and book-club "favs" Hillary Carlip, Laura Dave, Beth Gutcheon, Jennifer Haigh, Wally Lamb, Jamie Saul, Matthew Sharpe, Beverly Swerling, and Adriana Trigiani. Eager readers met authors, swapped tips, shared reading suggestions, and left with armloads of new reads. The official signature event was held at The New York Center for Independent Publishing organized by the WNBA-New York City chapter.

WNBA will continue the tradition of annual events in its chapter cities: Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. These events will create continued excitement and momentum and ensure that NRGM remains an important occasion on the nation's literary calendar. Events are open to the public, and reading group members are invited to attend as a group to take part in the festivities and celebrate their accomplishments. A portion of the proceeds from select NRGM events is donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

NRGM augments the WNBA's mission to promote the value of books and reading. Through this initiative the organization aims to foster the values reading groups encourage: camaraderie, enjoyment of shared reading, and appreciation of literature and reading as conduits for transmitting culture and advancing civic engagement.


The mission of National Reading Group Month is to:

  • Increase public awareness of the joy and value of shared reading
  • Provide a time for reading groups to celebrate their accomplishments and plan for the future
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to join an existing reading group or start a new one
  • Encourage libraries, bookstores, and organizations to host special reading group events

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National Reading Group Month Featured Books 2019

National Reading Group Month Signature Event

Endorsements and Accolades