The Book Club Book Club Book Club Club

    Sorry, I just thought that sounded nice. I guess it's been a long day. At least it's kinda meta. Anyway, book clubs. Yes. I am now running one in the cafe where I am a decidedly average waitress and wondered if I could ask you, the delightful blog-reading public, for some advice. 

     So far, the book club is awesome. Having never been to a book club before, let alone hosted one, I was pretty nervous and decidedly over-prepared for the first (week before last) and am still fairly nervous and equally over-prepared for the second (tomorrow). We have decided, as a group, to run on a bi-weekly meeting schedule but run the same book over two meetings, i.e. meet twice but discuss one book a month.

Brideshead Revisited (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
Next month's choice
     I have some questions though, for any of you who've ever been to one: how does that schedule sound to you? Too much/too little/too oft? Is it a good idea for the moderator (i.e. me) to pick the books we review so I can make sure I have points to raise about them or for each person in the group to have a turn at picking a book? Currently in place is a 'round-the-group' system, which I think could be good. Still early days, but I think it's good for everyone to feel directly engaged in it from time to time and, although, I read a great deal of books, I'd hate for my book group choices to start to overlap with my 'Book Quote Friday' choices here. (The first one has; it was 'Any Human Heart', which I wrote about here). Anyway, does this sounds good/interesting/sustainable?

     Also, any tips on keeping it buzzy and fresh? Tips for bringing the opinions of quieter participants to the fore? Any potential danger points to look out for?

     Most important though, in terms of this blog, would people be interested in using my book club notes as a resource perhaps? I could add a new page and add the questions I've used as I use them...

     What do you think?


  1. I belong to a book club. We're hardly ideal. We eat too much cheese and constantly go off topic. But I like it because it forces me to read books I wouldn't normally read.

    The two meetings per book idea is nice on a convenience level, but you might find the first meeting of the month is light on participants. Usually people who join book clubs have giant TBR piles, so the month's selection might be left to the last minute. I know I've been guilty of waiting until the last minute to start the book or showing up to the meeting with 100 pages left to go. And several women in my book club do the same. I could be wrong. Maybe having two meetings a month will help people fit the book into their schedules a bit better.

    Hope you enjoy your group!

  2. I also host a book club and love to encourage others to do the same. We meet bi-weekly (the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month); however, I came right out and asked each participant to give me feedback. The group has had people come and go, but now that I've got a solid 8 that come each week, it's much easier to come to an agreement about meeting dates. Be sure to make it flexible, but also constant. It's going to be far more successful if you meet on a recurring schedule.

    In terms of book selections, I would say have everyone pick a book that they absolutely want to read, throw the entries into a hat and then draw to determine the order. I have a group that reads similar types of literature, but there's definitely some variation. We've decided that the individual suggesting the book should be the one to moderate the discussion that evening. You'll still be organizing and making sure that the discussion is staying on point (a little off topic convo. is never bad), so you're not completely losing control.

    I think it's great that you're doing this! I actually made some good friends through the whole thing. It's certainly a morale booster! Good luck and can't wait to see how it goes!

  3. Thanks guys! It's awesome to hear how other people do it - I'm unable to start anything without being able to visualise it as the best thing ever, so hopefully by roping in guidance I can bring this book club close to that level :)

    Glad to hear others rock a bi-weekly schedule (most others I've found are monthly) and I think I'll be implementing the members'-book-choice-in-hat paradigm at our meeting tomorrow.

    Do you think it would be worth me putting my notes for each book up as a page here on the blog? I'm guessing lots of people google 'book clubs' and stuff...

    Thanks again; I'll let you know how it goes!

  4. One aspect you have not mentioned, is that you should contact all the publishers. They love sending proof copies of novels to book groups for reviews. So you can get your hands on fiction before it hits the shelves. But you would need a name for your book club first.

    In Sister by Rosamund Lupton, there is a terrific section at the back with loads of questions for a book club to ask and debate. It would be a great guide for you with other books.

  5. That's true! We do have a vague name...

    Maybe I'll do some calling. Thanks for the tip!


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