Saturday, June 5, 2010

Organizing a Book Club

I love books! One of my sidebar posts says it best-"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. -Gilbert Highet"

Often I read a great book and long to discuss it with another.

My husband and I years ago read some of the Left Behind series together. The most compelling thing was; if a thought came to mind beneath the cover, the thought need not stay there. It could be expressed on a welcoming ear by someone who knew and could appreciate the knowing. This experience YEARS ago, always left me wanting to be part of something like a book club, although I was not aware of it.

So a few months ago I first broached the subject with a few friends to determine interest. Then set out to start a summer book club of my own. Ten ladies, (including myself) a book chosen, and we're off!

But first came the research. How does one start a book club anyway? So I googled. Here is the knowledge I gleamed from that wonderful search engine.
  • The group commits to reading one book in one months time.

  • A meeting date should be established for the end of that month.

  • How big do you want it?

  • Invite people. (email is your best friend here)

  • Determine what kind of books to consider. (I asked the question of my group, "What genre do you prefer? Are there any that you loath?")

  • Choose a moderator. (this doesn't have to be the organizer, I asked for volunteers)

  • Choose a location- Someone's home? A library? A private room in a restaurant?

  • Do you vote on a book or does the orchestrator choose one?

  • Do you want food? A meal? Appetizers?

  • The orchestrator brings to the meeting 10-12 questions for specific discussion about said book. With more popular books you can find these "discussion questions" online. If it's a less known book you may have to write them yourself.

  • Lastly- the moderator must control the discussion. Make sure the conversation is not dominated by one person, or just an outgoing few leaving the more withdrawn people quiet and feeling left out. Make sure everyone has equal opportunity to voice their thoughts, and keep the dialog mainly on the book.
All this was accomplished without one knocking of a door or one ringing of a telephone. All through email!

Well we have begun for the month of June. The book- Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. This endeavor also expands you to read a book you may never have chosen on your own. The fun part is whether this book is good, bad, or ugly you have the knowledge that you are not alone. You will soon be free to express the thoughts and feelings accumulating within the pages of this new world.


  1. Love the music, love the new look, love that you took it on yourself to organize a book club for the summer.

    Go Christine!

  2. Thanks Beth!

    I am greatly looking forward to the book club. :)