Get Involved

So you are keen to start a book group?


Great! We can help you run a successful and enjoyable one.

To be able to borrow Book Discussion Scheme's books and discussion notes, you need to register with the scheme. You can register a new group at anyime during the year except for the Christmas holiday period (when our office is closed).


How to register your group

To set up details of your group on our computer and book inventory system, we need you to complete our Registering a New Book Group form.

Please return the form to us by post or email along with the one-off registration fee. The Payment & Order Form advises you of the cost of registration and membership, and the methods of payment we accept.

Alternatively Contact Us to receive an information pack by post, which includes our Catalogue with Handbook, registration form and helpful info for setting up your book group.


Size of group

We recommend that groups have 7 to 12 members (we supply a maximum of 12 books to any group). This size is conducive to good discussion and helps ensure a varierty of views.

Groups with 6 members or fewer pay a minimum membership fee (to cover our base costs for administration and distribution). We encourage small groups to increase their numbers to 7 or more.


Choosing a convenor

To help your book group run smoothly, we need you or someone in your group to act as convenor. This person becomes our primary contact person and has the responsibility of returning BDS books and materials to us. This is the person we will liaise with about book group matters; who usually receives deliveries of books (you can nominate someone else to receive them); and who gets a copy of our quarterly email newsletter Footnote, to pass on to members of their group. 

Convenors usually pay a reduced membership fee. This is our way of acknowledging the role you play in ensuring BDS materials are distributed and returned in a timely way.

Being a convenor doesn't necessarily mean you are responsible for hosting or leading your group; it is about being our liaison person. Where you meet and who leads your book group meetings is entirely up to groups to decide; some groups like their members to take turns at hosting meetings. Whatever works for you!


Choosing books from our Catalogue

If you enrol for a full programme we need 25 titles on your booklist (list them on the back of the enrolment form). For student and half programmes we require 15 titles. 

Your booklist can be amended at any time, so don't think it's set in concrete! Groups can amend, delete and prioritise some or all of the books on their list at any time during membership.

Impatient? Sometimes groups are so keen to start that they want to meet and get their first set of books straight away (before the group has finalised the list of books they'd like to read during their membership period). If so, please supply a 'temporary' list of 15 or 25 titles (depending on the programme you choose); you can then update your group's booklist at leisure.  


Catalogue with Handbook 

The first few pages of our Catalogue with Handbook outline how the scheme works and contain tips for running your group. A copy of this publication is included in our information packs: if you haven't received a pack or a Catalogue, you are welcome to request one.

An interactive pdf version of the Catalogue can be viewed under the 'Books' section of this website. 


Want more members?

The on-line BDS Message Board is a great way to find potential members. (Click the grey button 'Place your own message star on the map' at the bottom of the NZ map.)

Potential members can also be referred to your group by BDS if you indicate 'YES' to referrals on the enrolment form (when you register your new group with us). 


Further questions?

If you have questions about setting up and registering your group, Contact Us

An explanation and diagram showing an overview of membership can be viewed here



The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations