Dr Jane Davis MBE is the Founder and Director of The Reader. As well leading on the organisation’s development and vision, Jane still finds time to do what she loves best – sharing reading with others. On Friday mornings she leads a group at Calderstones Mansion House, Liverpool, the Reader’s new head office and where the organisation is building the international Centre for Reading. In 2011 she was elected as the UK’s 20th Ashoka Fellow, an honour which marks her entrepreneurial vision. Jane has been teaching the reading and sharing of literature for over thirty years and was recently appointed as Director of Liverpool, City of Readers by the Liverpool Learning Partnership. This large scale project is intended to make Liverpool the UK’s foremost city for reading. Jane’s favourite author is George Eliot. Jane has also received and MBE for her services to reading.
Jane is changing the way people relate to literature, to each other and to themselves through a shared reading model, which brings small groups together on a weekly basis to read books and poems aloud. Run in care homes, libraries, hostels, mental health centres, schools, and prisons Shared Reading brings literature to where people are. At the core of Jane’s approach is the insight that reading can be used as a therapeutic tool to help people articulate their thoughts, feelings, and life experiences. Through Shared Reading, Jane is redefining the value of literature and the role that reading aloud can play in improving mental health, community, and wellbeing.