Thursday, June 12, 2008


A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove
Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

I haven't been in a real face to face book club, except ...

My mother, and my eight year old daughter and I have started a little book club. We pick a book that all of us can read - so far it's been Heidi and Tale of Despereaux, and coming up next will be a Geronimo Stilton. About once a month we get together and have a little snack and discuss the book. We are having fun so far, and have even been the impetus for another three generational book club.

A group of girls from high school (almost twenty five years ago!) have an informal book club. Well, it started being a book club, but we never actually discussed the books. Every few months or so we get together at a restaurant. Originally, there was a book to discuss, but the gossip got the better of us, and it has evolved into a 'book exchange' club. We come with a bag of books and recommend and share. Some of the girls might read only one book between dinners, but a couple of us are more voracious, and it's a great source of books. Mostly, it's the dinner out away from the children and the company of old friends that don't see each other between meetings.

I've been involved in a few online book clubs - a few at Yahoo that I mostly lurk, but occasionally add in. There's a new one at lj that is getting going and is just the right amount of discussion with books I am interested in reading. It started off with a vote each month on the book selection, but I suggested we pick the top three and use them for the next three months so people can get a hold of the books to read. So far it's going well.

I like reading as part of a group, which is really what a lot of the reading challenges become. If the books are part of a theme, like the RIP for example, there are many common books being read, and reviewed and commented on at the same time. It's that feeling of community that I like, without having to read the exact same book. Often, we connect with other bloggers who read a lot of the same books, so while it may not be simultaneous, within a few months the same books are read. Challenge blogs also provide a way for discussions about common books.

I think it would be great to get into a book club in real life with people of the same mind and reading habits, but it seems to be difficult to find that perfect match. It would be hard with friends, because there would be too much other stuff to talk about! Finding strangers that would click perfectly is probably even harder. I like my blogger friends and the 'book club' that I feel a part of. It's easier time-wise, and like-minded wise.


  1. I love the book exchange idea - much better than a traditional book club.

  2. The book exchage is a great idea...I could enjoy that!

    And yes,I think finding the right group is key - and not easy!

  3. I love your little family book club. So sweet!

  4. Just stopped by to let you know the Sense of Place Contest is ready for entries! Good Luck if you choose to participate! :)

    You are right! When the group dosn't know each other they do talk about the book.

  5. My book club can focus in, so after we chat for awhile, we start in on the book. We often go off-course, but then I bring it back on track ('cause I'm the leader) and we talk some more and then go off track again... it's quite relaxed and we wind up having great discussions. And yes, we're all friends.


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