Novel Conversations

Novel Conversations is a free statewide lending library. Indiana Humanities lends more than 450 titles, primarily fiction and biography, to reading and discussion groups all over Indiana, free of charge. Our selection includes popular titles such as The Sun Also Rises, At Home in Mitford, A Girl Named Zippy, The Notebook and The Secret Life of Bees. View the Book List for a complete listing. We also have books available in several other genres, including nonfiction, mysteries, plays, poetry and young adult.



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 (formerly known as Wheels), or picked up and returned at Indiana Humanities headquarters at 1500 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis.

How do I order books? 
All books must be reserved in advance. Call 317.638.1500 or 800.675.8897, ext. 128, or e-mail Nancy Conner at We need the following information:

  1. The title of the book (see the book list)
  2. Number of copies desired
  3. Date when you would like to receive them
  4. Date when we can expect them to be returned.

You should receive an email or phone call in response to let you know whether the books are available or not, for the date requested. Remember, Novel Conversations is first-come, first-served. To ensure availability, 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.

How long may we keep the books?
Negotiable, but typically six weeks. Many groups hand out books at one monthly meeting, then discuss and collect them at the following meeting. 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 at the due date, go ahead and send us the 10 copies because that may be enough for us to fulfill another library’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 Nancy at to be added to the list.

Cautions, caveats, etc.:
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. IMPORTANT: INfo Express picks up our books for shipment only on Wednesday and Friday. Orders received too late (after 3 p.m. on Tuesday or Thursday) cannot be shipped until the following pickup date.

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 Nancy. Finally, if you would like to provide financial support for the program, you can donate here.

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.