COVID-19: Latest advice for Book Groups


COVID-19 Update Thu 14 May

Level two guidelines...

Things are now pretty much back to normal at BDS HQ, but here are some things to note about business at level two:

  • Slow parcels — While we are all up-to-date with dispatches, couriers are still playing catch-up in many parts of the country. Your overnight parcel may take up to a week to get to you.

    Unfortunately there's not much we can do about this, but remember, you can always track your package's progress in the convenor section of the website to see if there are any delays in transit.

  • Christchurch pick-ups — You may now enter the building to pick up books without ringing ahead. We just ask that you try to maintain 2m distance from others who may be doing the same. The books for sale area is currently closed to minimise surface contamination.

  • Getting it done online — We are still trying to limit face-to-face contact, so if you can do it online e.g. re-enrolment or paying accounts, please do so.

  • Returns — Please return books either in-person or by courier when you can. This ensures we have a good stock to select from as we continue to supply groups with books from their lists.

  • The importance of catching up on your reading —  Some groups still have up to four book sets on loan, which is difficult for us to sustain. Now that the extension of due back dates has served its purpose, our expectation is that groups will be able to return the books on time from July onwards. If this is not possible, please look at cancelling a book set and returning the books to us. 

    Unfortunately we will not be able to supply your group with a 'catch-up' book set at the end of the year — we simply don’t have the staff resources to do so, as that is our busiest period.

As always, we're here to help, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if we can be of further assistance.


Kia Kaha,

The BDS Team


COVID-19 Update Tue 21 Apr

Moving to level three...

Following the government's announcement yesterday, BDS will resume service on Tuesday 28 April, with some differences. Here's what it means for your group:

  • Christchurch groups who pick up their books: Read this.
  • Groups from around New Zealand who receive their books via courier: Read this.

We're here to help, so if you have further questions or just want to talk things through, please contact us.

Thank you for all your support during these unprecedented times,

Kia Kaha,

The BDS Team


COVID-19 Update Tue 4 Apr

Dear BDS friends,

I hope you’re all safe and have adapted to the new norm. It’s not easy is it?

We’re receiving some anxious messages about the return of books. I’d just like to put your minds at rest — because of the circumstances, we’re extending the due back date of all books to enable members to read them and return them when possible. Your next parcel will be despatched (or ready for pick-up) whether or not you’ve returned the earlier ones.

Because of this extension however, we won’t have quite as many books on our shelves and groups with their books in priority order will receive books further down their lists. If you’re comfortable working online, perhaps you’d like to login and review your book lists. You may wish to add additional titles and subtract others so you’ll be happy whichever of your choices you receive.

When we re-open, staff will be concentrating on catching up with dispatches to ensure everyone receives all their book sets for the year. Our priority is to keep the books coming with as little disruption to your meeting schedule as possible. You may need to adjust your meeting times slightly at your end, but you do not need to advise us of this - just keep reading and we'll worry about the rest.

Also, if you're due to re-enrol, you should do so as normal online. Staff are set up at home to process these as usual and will work to ensure you get your books on time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and we'll work through this together.

Stay safe everyone. We’re thinking of you all — Barbara


COVID-19 Update Mon 23 Mar

Our service will be closing from 5:00PM Wednesday 25 March for at least four weeks. Many staff will be working from home and able to answer your emails. For more information about how this affects your book group, please read the full update here.

Our thoughts are with all our BDS whānau/family at this unsettling time. We hope the joy of reading continues to bring much learning, relaxation and discussion over the coming weeks.

Kia Kaha, Stand Strong, 

The BDS Team

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