Saturday, 6 June 2015

How to Start Your Own Book Club

Did you check out my 101 in 1001 post? If so, you'll see 'join a book club' features on it. It was recently a colleague's birthday and we got her 3 books. It transpired most of our department wanted to read these books and my idea to take 'joining' a club a step further to 'running' my own club was born.

I sent an email including a picture of the book, a synopsis, listed how much it cost from various outlets(including any offers) and popped a date in the calendar, allowing readers a month to get through the book.

We are quite a competitive bunch, so most of us got the first book finished in 1 - 2 weeks so now we reduce the reading time to ensure we all remember it by the time to comes to our meeting.

The first book we read collectively was Daughter by Jane Schemilt - you can read my review here. Coincidentally, it has a collection of reading group questions in the back which were a great help for our first meeting.

Not all books have this so for future club meetings all members bring one question. I really like this idea as everyone will interprete the book differently and therefore questions from different views will arise. If you're feeling lazy or struggling to think of questions, there's also sources online where you can search for questions relating to specific books so we print one of those off too.

Next we had to decide where the meetings would be and decided to rotate between various eateries in town. Remember to book a table and ask for a round one - it's hard to talk to one another on a long rectangular table.

After we've finished the initial 3 books, we needed a way to decide what to read next. I wanted everyone to have a chance to offer their ideas so that we get variations in genres and we could read things we might not normally choose ourselves.

We agreed to have a jar where club members can write their book suggestions in a jar anonymously and then we pick one out and vote on it. If enough agree they're interested in reading it, that will be the book of the month. Another option is you just take it in turns each month to choose a book.

Finally, remember: the first rule of book club is: you do not talk about book club. The second rule of book club... I'm joking, kind of. We agreed to not talk about a book until meetings is a good idea otherwise we'll have nothing to discuss by the time we get to a meeting!

I'm really proud to have started our club at work, it's a great way to socialise, keep yourself motivated when it comes to reading and gets us talking about something that isn't work.

Are you a member of a book club? What tips do you have?
Let me know below!

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