Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions that we are often asked about Book Club
The Book Club runs on six weekly cycles. In each cycle you will:
- Be asked to vote for the next book. We will send you an email with a shortlist of three books inspired by the places ShelterBox has worked around the world.
- Receive an email announcing the winning book which will be sent to you in the post.
- Receive the winning book in the post with a letter telling you about one of the families supported by ShelterBox after a disaster.
- Be invited to our discussion week events. You will be sent a link to enable you to join our Zoom meetings, Q&As and social media debates with other members.
- At the end of the cycle you receive a new book, and then we vote on the next book.
By joining ShelterBox Book Club, you are committing to helping families across the world hit by disaster.
Your payment will also help cover the cost of the book and maintaining Book Club, which is £5.66 per person every month. This is therefore the minimum amount acceptable to join Book Club, and any payments above this go towards providing aid to families hit by disaster.
In return for a recommended £10 monthly payment, you will get:
- The chance to vote on a carefully selected shortlist every six weeks
- A ShelterBox bookmark
- Your own copy of the winning book through the post – to read when it suits you best
- Regular emails from our Head Bookworm
- An online video discussion with other members, and a social media debate on each book. Links will be sent via email.
- A chance to join a live event which gives greater insight into the book we’ve read, often in the form of a live Q&A with the author
- Stories of the real people around the world who are being supported by ShelterBox thanks to your donations
We handpick the three shortlisted books. From there, the book with the highest number of votes is selected – everyone gets the same book.
We read stories that focus on people; modern literary fiction, autobiographies, and short stories from all over the world. We choose books that share underrepresented stories from cultures and communities that don’t often appear on the bestseller list. The twist that makes ShelterBox Book Club unique is that we choose the books inspired by the people who’ve been helped through ShelterBox’s disaster relief work.
Some of our favourite books that we have read are:
- The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (Malawi)
- Life as a Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi (Iraq, Kuwait, UK)
- A Woman of Firsts by Edna Adan Ismail (Somaliland, UK)
- We, The Survivors by Tash Aw (Malaysia)
- A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum (Palestine, USA)
- Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa (Japan)
- Augustown by Kei Miller (Jamaica)
- The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (Vietnam)
Every 6 weeks Head Bookworm shortlists three books for you to choose from. You’ll be sent an email asking you to vote for your favourite and there’ll be lots of reminders on our social media channels too so you won’t forget. The book with the most votes wins and will be sent to your home 4 weeks later, just after we debate the previous book, making sure there’s never too much of a gap between your book club books.
Each book you get is yours to do as you please. Once you’ve finished reading each book why not give them to a friend to help them learn about new cultures too?
If you have a bookworm in your life who would love to be a member of book club, you are able to buy a gift membership in 3, 6 or 12 month packages.
Thank you for supporting ShelterBox. In order to be part of ShelterBox Book Club, you’ll need to set up a new regular gift through the Book Club page.
Yes, you can. If you’d like to stop or amend your monthly gift, either call our supporter care team on 0300 0300 500 or email them on [email protected]
Gift Aid is a governmental scheme that, assuming you are a taxpayer, means charities may be able to claim an additional 25% of your payment from the government – at no cost to you.
Your donation to ShelterBox will be split into two payments one for £5.66 which covers the cost of the book, the postage, packaging and events. The second payment is a voluntary donation from you so you can decide how much you would like to give. This second payment is eligible for Gift Aid.
To make sure we can claim gift aid on any eligible payment, please tick the gift aid box on the sign-up form. It allows your payment to go further and help more families hit by disaster.
You can choose when in the month your gift is taken – either the 1st, 8th, 15th or 22nd of every month. Due to the processing time to set up a Direct Debit, if your chosen date is within 10 working days, we will start the gift the following month.
If you are choosing Book Club as a gift, the payment is taken upfront.
You can redeem your gift membership by clicking the link in your e-voucher and entering your voucher number and your membership details.
Alternatively, you can redeem your membership here.
We hold three events during discussion week, you will receive an email with the schedule and all of the links the week before our discussions start. The three events we host each cycle are:
1. An online video call for all of our members to join and discuss the book, hosted on zoom.
2. Our Facebook debate hosted on our Book Club Facebook page. This takes place over one working day but you can add your thoughts at any time after that.
3. A third live event hosted on zoom to give you a deeper understanding of the book we’ve read and the culture and community it is set in. Often these take the form of a live Q&A with the author.
The majority of our discussion week events happen off of social media and we share the questions for our debates in advance so you can still use them as prompts to think about the book. If you have any ideas on how you’d like the debates to be run, then please contact Head Bookworm.
Yes, we have live captioning on all of our zoom events, and we encourage members to participate in the comments if they are unable to or would prefer not to speak aloud. Our Facebook debate is also in text form.
We love it when Book Club members can meet up and chat about the books they’ve read. You can post about meet-ups on the Book Club Facebook page to find other members in your local area.
Yes, you can choose the delivery address on the sign-up form.
The books will arrive 4 weeks after the winning book choice is announced, usually at the end of the discussion week for the previous book.
If you think the book should’ve arrived by now, but it hasn’t, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 0300 500 or email us.
Book Club is currently only available in the UK. We hope to be able to expand Book Club’s reach in the future. If you are interested in receiving books to an international address, please let us know by emailing [email protected] and we’ll put you on our waiting list. For all future announcements, you can follow the Book Club Facebook page here.
All the books are packed by hand and we do our best to make sure that no books get missed out. On the rare occasions this happens or if your book simply gets lost in the post then please contact Head Bookworm.
No, the cost of delivery is included as part of joining Book Club.
Yes, the packs are designed to fit through most letterboxes.
Unfortunately, we don’t offer anything currently for those who are visually impaired.
While we can’t pause memberships, you can stop your membership then re-join again at any time. If you want to talk to us about your membership, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 0300 500 or email us.
If you want to donate to ShelterBox without taking part in Book Club, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 0300 500 or email us.
If you want to skip a book but continue with your payment to ShelterBox, please contact Head Bookworm.
You can either skip the book and only join our discussions or, we might be able to send you a copy of one of our previous books instead. If you already own a book that has just won our vote, please contact Head Bookworm.
Yes, you can buy our previous read and shortlisted books on our bookshop.org shop.
At the moment we can only provide a physical copy of the book.
If you have not received your gift membership e-voucher, please check your junk folder and if you have still not received your voucher then contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 0300 500 or email us.
You are always in control of how you hear from us and you can change your mind at any time by calling us on 0300 0300 500.
If you are moving home please let us know by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 0300 500.
Your personal details are secure. We’ll always protect your privacy and will never sell or swap your data with any third party.
To find out more about how we safeguard your data, visit shelterbox.org/privacy
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Join Book Club
Join the ShelterBox Book Club community today with a monthly payment to ShelterBox, and you can look forward to receiving your own copy of each winning book, reading along at your own pace and joining the discussion online.
And with every story you read, you’ll be transforming the lives of disaster-hit families in the real world.