Prison Book Club

Today I am inspired by a book I finished last night.

The book is Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley, featuring Ann herself, her friend Carol and the members of the prison book clubs.

I am inspired by Carol’s vision to set up a book club in a Canadian Prison. The book club becomes successful enough for other prisons to support the concept. I find it inspiring that she had a simple vision and took the risk and ride to make this vision a reality.

I am inspired by Ann for overcoming her anxiety that was caused by a mugging in London several years earlier to become involved with the book clubs. It was a huge step to enter the prison but she not only did that but through feeling inspired herself, she went on to give prisoners journals, encouraged them to read outside their comfort zones and of course wrote this book.

I am inspired by the prisoners who embraced the book clubs, found themselves in books, enjoyed the discussions and increased their self esteem and sense of community. Some of the prisoners went on to join or form book clubs once they left prison.

The following is from the book

“A report on the UK project Prison Reading Groups set out anecdotal evidence that fiction has played a role in nurturing empathy among their incarcerated readers and found that book discussions contributed to informal learning and pro-social behaviour.”


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