How to Start a Book Club : How to Organize a Book Club

My name is Jeanna Rock, and we’re talking
about how to organize a book group. The first thing that you need is someone who’s in charge.
When I organized my book, I was the NAZI book group leader, and what I said went. In the
eleven years that have passed, I am so not in charge anymore. Everybody else has become
empowered, and that’s fine. But someone has to be in charge of getting the list of members,
of addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and printing those out. So you essentially
need a secretary in charge of that kind of information, of paperwork kind of information.
The other thing the secretary must do is print out a list of all the books that you’re going
to read that year, where you’re going to meet, who’s leading the discussion, and all that
pertinent information, and email that out as well, or at least post it somewhere where
everyone has access to it. The next thing you need to consider is what you’re going
to read. You’ve got to have some methodology of picking books, so as a group you need to
decide how you’re going to decide what to read. Are you going to vote on the books that
you’re going to read that year, or is each individual member going to choose one that
they will present? So some method of picking books is going to be essential. After you’ve
decided how you’re going to pick your books, you also need to decide who is going to lead
the discussion, or if you’re going to even have a discussion leader. In our group, generally
one person leads the discussion every month. But it comes a free-for-all after that, so
it really doesn’t matter if there is someone assigned to it, but sometimes it helps to
have someone responsible for making sure that they read the book, and then having some questions
that we can discuss. A location is also essential. Where are you going to meet every month? Sometimes
we meet it–we meet in members homes, and that seems to work really well for us, but
you might choose a public place like a library or a museum, or even a bookstore, if you have
a large group and it’s not an intimate group where you know everyone. Once you’ve decided
where you’re going to meet, you need to discuss how often you want to meet. Our group meets
once a month, and I know a lot of groups meet once a month. It generally takes about a month
to get through a novel. If you’re going to be reading shorter things like short stories
or poetry, maybe every other week would work well. I would not meet less frequently than
once a month, because you still need that time to connect with your group members and
to share their lives. The last thing that you need to consider is food or no food. Most
groups that I’ve heard of do eat, and we enjoy that social time at the beginning of our group.
We spend probably an hour just chatting with each other and sharing food before we actually
get into the discussion. But if you’re meeting in a place like a library or bookstore, maybe
food is not a great idea. So you need to discuss that with your members as well.

4 Replies to “How to Start a Book Club : How to Organize a Book Club

  1. I use for my gamers group I'm sure it will work well for Book Clubs too. It send invites to members of your group to see "who's in". It's free so worth checking out.

  2. 1) someone in charge
    leader, who can regulate group, getting a list of members and contacts, print out the list of books, contacting members
    2) deciding books
    each member decides one, voting on books
    3) discussion leader/not
    4) location
    members homes, library, museum, book store
    5) how often?
    once a month
    6)food or no food?

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