BOOK GROUPS: 20 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED
- See if any of your friends have a space in their group.
- Check to see if your local library runs any groups
- See if the local library has a notice board where groups can list and interested readers can enquire.
- Open groups: it helps to have an email list to keep in touch.
- Try a website – perhaps a Facebook page or Meetup.com could be used.
- ZOOM: book groups work very well on Zoom. Saves a lot of travel.
LOCATION AND NUMBERS
- If the group meets at a private home 8 to 10 members is a comfortable number and allows for absences and drop outs.
- If you use a public location such as a small meeting room at library, local hall or pub or club, then you can cater for larger numbers.
- In general 8-10 members is good for easy discussion – with more than that you really need a group leader/facilitator to make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute.
- Even with small friendship groups it is useful to have one person nominally in charge, so that discussion can be focussed on the books rather than becoming group chat only.
- This person can also be the discussion leader, introducing the book, giving its background (Wikipedia!). Or this task can be given to the person who nominated the book. It does help to have a discussion leader for each book.
FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS.
- Most groups seem to meet monthly.
- With longer periods momentum seems to get lost and public holidays etc affect meeting dates.
- If the period is too short members may have trouble finding/ reading the book.
CHOICE OF BOOKS.
- Some groups have a speaker on the day who introduces a favourite book.
- Some prepare a list for six or even 12 months ahead. Maybe members can offer titles and then a group discussion can decide on the list.
- Some read books only in certain genres: travel, detective stories, prize winners, non-fiction, feminism or may rely on random suggestions.
SUPPLY OF BOOKS.
- Availability is the key: library, ebooks, audiobooks, loans or purchase. And individual members will all have different sources.
- NOTE: you need plenty of lead time –1 month plus. Beware of books long out of print except for classics; books not available as ebooks or the very new.
- To buy online: www.bookfinder.com, Ebay often has good cheap books.