Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Want to Start a Book Club?

I saw this post last week over at SheReads. With permission I'm reposting it here because I thought it was filled with fabulous advice on how to start a bookclub. I love reading, but something special happens when I'm able to discuss a book I enjoyed or that challenged me with others. SheReads is a great site that focuses on one book a month -- usually with great giveaways and hundreds of comments. A real dialouge between authors and readers. So be sure to check it out.

Without further ado, here's the article posted over there by Ariel.

All About Book Clubs...

A number of you have written in over the last few weeks requesting specific information on how to join She Reads or create your own book club. Your wish is my command! Here are a handful of ways (all of them free) that you can get involved:

Set up a time to speak with this month’s featured author.

Starting this month we are providing the opportunity for your book club to speak with our featured author via speaker phone. This month’s selection is The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen. Several of you have already written in to say your book club will be reading it this summer. One way to experience the book on a deeper level is to have Marybeth call in a the beginning of your meeting to discuss her novel. You’ll get the chance to ask questions, learn about the inspiration behind the novel, and connect with her personally. If your book club would like to speak with Marybeth this summer, click here.

The_Mailbox_front_cover(2)“A rural mailbox stands alone on an isolated North Carolina beach, and within its unobtrusive confines lay the hopes and dreams, the heartaches and joys of countless strangers. Tending the lone mailbox on this deserted beach is an anonymous reader called the Kindred Spirit… drawing hearts toward healing and hope.”

Start a new She Reads book club.

Here are a few tips on starting a new book club:

1. Invite friends and family to join your She Reads book club. Ask women from your church, neighborhood, small group, workplace, etc. Don’t be afraid to invite a diverse group of people—the diversity can add to the depth of the discussion. However, keep it small enough for intimate discussion and relationships to be formed. An ideal number is 5 – 10 women. Your group can meet in a home, at a church, in the work place, or at a park. Be versatile and be creative.

2. Choose one of the She Reads selections each month. (We recommend going through one novel per month, but each group has a different pace. Proceed at the level you are comfortable with) Encourage all members to purchase and read the the book before your first meeting.

3. Register your book club on the She Reads site by having each member sign up for our monthly newsletter.

4. Choose a meeting time that doesn’t change—for example the first Tuesday evening or the third Friday evening of the month, etc. Try to come up with a time that suits everyone.

5. Before your first meeting, read the novel, look over the provided discussion questions, and choose recipes to serve, ice breakers to play, and other activities provided at the She Reads site. Be prepared to contribute to your book club.

6. At the first meeting see if your members want to rotate hosting duties, and have members sign up to take turns leading the discussion. Go around the room and ask each person to share why they joined the book club. Also lay out some ground rules. For instance: If you can’t attend, let someone know. Don’t interrupt when someone else is sharing. Respect the opinions of others, etc.

7. Enjoy the time spent with a great book and dear friends!

Don’t have a local book club? Participate online!

Accessibility to a group of like-minded readers can be tough. That’s why we’ve partnered with Time Warners’ Christian Momlogic Book Club to provide an online forum to discuss our featured novels. We’ve kicked off the partnership this month with The Mailbox. Click here to join. The discussion is already underway with 76 member so jump in at any time!

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