Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How to Effectively Run a Book Club

Concerned that Book Club might become an Anything Else Club? Here are five ways of keeping yours on track.  ♦ 
A book club always seems like a good idea at the start. You think about how well read you will be in a year. You can finally go to those family parties and brag about all the books you have read and maybe even sound a little more intelligent than you did last year. However, in order to attain scholarly status, you must first know how to run an effective book club, or it will likely turn into social hour filled with tall glasses of wine and snacks . . . a lot of snacks. And we all know Aunt Becky won't be wowed by your sommelier status.
   So, lest this fate befall you, here's a list of tips and tricks you can use to run an effective and successful book club this year:

1. Find the Right People. This might mean going out of your comfort zone and creating a book club with people you are not that close with (gasp!). I know it sounds crazy, but some of your closest friends might not be the best readers. Look outside your bubble; reach out to acquaintances or friends of friends who are also interested in books. This is a great way to meet new people and a good way to introduce yourself to books you might not have picked off the shelf. It will also keep your book club on the right track if you are all interested and committed to reading.

2. Set Guidelines. It is easy for a book club to get off topic. Create some ground rules for your club to follow. Do you want your book club to focus on one particular genre? Do you want to take turns picking a new book each time? Or is it going to be a group vote? Will you include those delicious snacks and adult beverages? Or will it be a morning meeting with coffee and bagels? It is up to you and your club to set the mood and the rules.

3. Time and Place. Figure out the right time and place to meet with your book club. Make sure it is a day and time that works for everyone and a place that is convenient for everyone (You can imagine Friday nights at a crowded restaurant isn’t going to allow for an intimate meeting, so choose wisely). Think about how often your club will meet. Will it be biweekly? Monthly? Or just whenever you feel like? (Do not go in this direction, please). Will members take turns hosting? Or will you pick a neutral place like a coffee shop or the library? The options are limitless, and it's up to your club to decide when and where.

4. Read the Book. This might sound obvious, but don't be that person who consistently "forgets" to read the book or "doesn’t have time." A book club will not function well if only half the club actually reads the book. If you can't commit, then quit.

5. Keep it Up! Make your book club last. Have fun with it, change it up, and keep on going. Mix up your meetings with some fun activities like a holiday gift swap in December, or watch a movie of a book your group recently read. Make it fun and your meetings meaningful.
  • About the Author
    Caroline Diana hails from Boston and is currently a senior at Miami University, where she studies Journalism and Professional Writing. When she's not in school, you can find Caroline soaking up the sun on Cape Cod.

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