ESL Book Club paperbacks are now available

They’re finally ready! After a little printing hiccup, I have paperbacks!

Remind us what these are again?

They’re Book Club books – stories designed to be read and discussed by learners of English, but with questions at the end of each chapter, rather than at the end of the book. The pdf versions were available a while ago, but these are the ‘library readers’, for those who prefer an actual book.

Three ESL book club reading books from The Book Next Door

And the level?

It depends how much support you’re giving. If a teacher or volunteer is part of the book club, then I’d say The English Chip and Blood Kind would be fine for low intermediate, strong EAL2 learners, who are comfortable reading The Coat. If the actual reading is an independent or pair-work experience, then intermediate or EAL 3. A Lady’s Visit would be high intermediate or EAL 4.

Adult? Young Adult?

Both – the protagonists are all in their twenties.

Do we need paperbacks?

No, you might prefer the pdf versions, which you can share with learners as a print-out, on screen, or online through your LMS. I still have paperbacks, though, because (a) libraries! and (b) they are book club books, and there is something about the ‘real book’ experience.

Where can I see samples?

You don’t have to go to the bookshop to see the samples. Just go to the Payhip store and click on Preview. You can print out that chapter and try it out with your students. Then if you (and they!) decide it’s right for them, you can choose between the pdf download, or the library readers (available from your friendly bookshop or library supplier).

Can we share the pdf version?

Yes, but just note the licence conditions – it’s a one teacher or one campus licence, so each campus needs their own copy.

Is there audio?

Yes, there is! The Payhip version has downloadable audio with the pdf. Paperback readers will find a link inside the book – there’s an audio link page on this site.

Weren’t these originally e-books?

Yes, and they were written pre-Covid, so one character is using Skype instead of Zoom! But that’s the nature of fiction! The e-books are still available, but they don’t have the book club questions.

What can I tell learners about you?

Great question. Say I’m an AMEP teacher who also loves writing. I’ve written short stories for women’s magazines, short stories for children, and books for English language learners. (You might like to remind them that most English language teachers create their own resources…this is just an extra step.) Or ask them to write a joint letter to me, as Book Clubs do sometimes send feedback to an author…

Other book club books?

Send me your recommendations and I’ll share them! Oxford Bookworms Library Rabbit Proof Fence, perhaps?

How would you run a book club?

You might like to look back at my interview with librarian Rosalie Foss, who ran a local English Reading Circle and was my inspiration. Of course, the book club might not be in a public library, but in a learning centre. Late on Fridays? Out of teaching hours? Online? Of course you can’t offer wine, but you could include drinks and snacks, to give participants a taste of the authentic book club experience!

I know there are many different options, but I’d like to see Book Club tried as a Project for the EAL unit VU22412. Students could take on different roles, to organise and advertise, distribute chapters, bring snacks, check in on the group to make sure they’ve read the chapter a couple of days before, lead the read-aloud in the book club session, and make sure everyone gets to share their ideas.

Can you tell us a bit more about each book?

Absolutely! Look out for my next post!