Novel Conversations

Novel Conversations is a free statewide lending library. Indiana Humanities lends more than 900 titles, primarily fiction and biography, to reading and discussion groups all over Indiana, free of charge.

Novel Conversations

After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, we have resumed Novel Conversations shipments. This free program circulates more than 900 different titles to book clubs throughout Indiana thanks to the statewide InfoExpress courier. Although we anticipate bumps along the way as we reopen, we are glad to once again provide this resource for reading and discussion groups throughout the state, even as they meet virtually and in socially distanced contexts!

Read our Reopening Plan

Who can participate in Novel Conversations?

Indiana organizations such as public and school libraries, senior centers, churches, or formal or informal book clubs. Any Indiana resident can request a set of books.

How much does it cost?

It’s free, as long as books are either shipped to a public library via the Indiana State Library’s INfo Express service or picked up and returned at Indiana Humanities headquarters at 1500 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis.

How do I order books?

For several reasons resulting from concerns related to COVID-19, Novel Conversations will be suspending its service until July 3, 2020. Internally, we have currently cancelled all reservations with pickup dates through July 13. 

Please see the contents of the document linked below for FAQs about our reopening plan, instructions for cancelling kits you no longer need, tips for social distancing with your book clubs, tips for virtual book club meetings and information about the PPE precautions Indiana Humanities will be taking when preparing and processing shipments.  

How long may we keep the books?

You will have 40 days from the pickup date to the due date. The pickup date should be the date of the meeting when you want to distribute the books to your group; however, books may arrive before this date. The due date is the date when the library should send the books back to Indiana Humanities.

What if I have not collected all the books by the due date?

We ask that you return as many books as possible by the due date, even if you do not have all the copies back yet. For example, if you borrowed 12 books and only have 10 back by the due date, go ahead and send us the 10 copies because that may be enough to fulfill another group’s request.

How are books added to the collection?

Quite a lot of our newer books have been donated by libraries. We have also received special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library; and the Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. If you’d like to receive news from Indiana Humanities, we will e-mail you about these acquisitions or with other news. Email Bronwen at to be added to the list.

Cautions, caveats, etc.
  • IMPORTANT: We ship books only on Wednesday and Friday. Orders received too late cannot be shipped until the following pickup date.
  • Remember, Novel Conversations is first-come, first-served. To ensure availability of the titles you want, make your reservations as far in advance as you can. Reservations will be recorded in our database, and the books will be shipped at the appropriate date. If they do not arrive when expected, please let us know.
  • The number of copies to be sent is not absolutely guaranteed. If another group loses a book or two, we may not be able to send the number requested although it should be reasonably close.
I want to support Novel Conversations. How can I help?

We are always looking for donations of paperback books (minimum of eight copies per title) or additional copies of books already in our collection. If you would like to donate books, suggest new titles or offer feedback about the program, please contact Bronwen. Finally, if you would like to provide financial support for the program, you can donate here.


Nonprofits interested in bringing an award-winning Indiana author to their community to speak to a public audience can apply for funds to cover speaking fees as part of Indiana Humanities’ Novel Conversations Speakers Program.

The program, open to public libraries, schools, churches, museums, community centers, prisons and other nonprofit organizations, is made possible by Glick Philanthropies. The speakers program features current and past recipients of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards. This year’s participants are:

  • Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, 2018 Regional Author Winner
  • Lori Rader-Day, 2017 Regional Author Winner
  • Bryan Furuness, 2017 Emerging Author Finalist
  • John David Anderson, 2017 Genre Excellence Winner
  • Philip Gulley, 2016 Regional Author Winner
  • Sarah Gerkensmeyer, 2016 Emerging Author Winner
  • Bill Kenley, 2016 Emerging Author Finalist
  • Edward Kelsey Moore, 2016 Emerging Author Finalist
  • Adrian Matejka, 2015 Regional Author Winner
  • Laura Bates, 2015 Emerging Author Finalist
  • Norbert Krapf, 2014 Regional Author Winner
  • Kelsey Timmerman, 2014 Emerging Author Winner
  • Michael Shelden, 2014 National Author Winner
  • Mike Mullin, 2013 Emerging Author Winner
  • Barbara Shoup, 2012 Regional Author Winner
  • Ray Boomhower, 2010 Regional Author Winner
  • Susan Neville, 2009 Regional Author Winner
Order Books

For several reasons resulting from concerns related to COVID-19, Novel Conversations will be suspending its service until further notice. You may still make reservations for the future, but know that we will continue to monitor the situation and will delete reservations as necessary. Internally, we have currently cancelled all reservations with pickup dates through July 14. 

Read more here.

If you’d like to reschedule cancelled kits, you can do so on the KitKeeper portal. 


Contact Bronwen Carlisle, 800.675.8897, extension 117, or email