Do you remember the kid at school who always had his nose in a book, or were you the girl who was a voracious reader? Chances are, shes still reading; and if you like to read too, you can bet that there are plenty of other people in your community who like to read. One of the perks of living here is the use of the clubhouse, and what better place to get together for a lively discussion about books?
Todays blog is about how to go about organizing a book club. One of the marvelous things about book clubs is that they are so flexible. Essentially, two ingredients are necessary for a book club, books and readers (and throwing in some good food is always a plus). Generally speaking, a book is chosen,read, and then the members of the club get together and discuss their opinions, thoughts, and observations about the book.
Book clubs can be formal or informal, focus on a specific genre or explore multiple genres. One person can decide the titles or it can be a democracy where everyone gets a voice. Books can be planned for the year, or month-to-month, or in some book groups, the person who brings the food that month chooses the book too. The gathering can be held the same time every month, i.e. every third Wednesday or on a rotating schedule. Flexibility, thats the name of the game.
So, to get started, first, decide the type of club, formal or informal, the genre/s, when to meet, and who to invite.
Second: Decide on your first book. (It might be a good idea to start with a book youve already read for the first one.) A book that is not too long and is a fairly easy read (and falls within your genre guidelines) is a good first choice. Here are a couple of websites that have lists of books that are currently popular with book clubs:
LitLoversAbout.com Resources for Book Clubs, Classes & Reading Research
Third: Choose a date and schedule the clubhouse. Remember, its not set in stone, after your first meeting, you can change the schedule to meet the needs of the members.
Fourth: Advertise - use your community bulletin board (electronic and physical), have the office put it on the scheduled events, word of mouth, to get the word out. Create a FaceBook Group to facilitate communication for the ongoing club.
Many books have book club Study Guides, that have thought provoking questions to stimulate discussion, these can be accessed online, and are sometimes in the book itself. And many libraries have book group loan kits where multiple copies of popular books can be checked out. Libraries also often have books available to lend electronically; this is a great option for people who use Kindle, Nook, or other reading apps. (Check in advance to see if the book you are considering is available electronically for loan.) And there is always the method of passing a book around if only a few copies are available.
Books groups tend to work best when the numbers average about a dozen. Enough people that you get a consistent turnout, but not too many, so everyone has an opportunity to share their thoughts. So if several differently focused book groups are available, the more to choose from.
And there you have it. A fun, friendly way to use the clubhouse in your community and an opportunity to read a book genre you may not have tried before. Leave a comment today and share your favorite book with us.