BOOK GROUPS – HOW TO START YOUR OWN

BOOK GROUPS – HOW TO START YOUR OWN

20 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED

What is already available

  • 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:  The Women’s Library in Newtown has one and so does the SMSA in Pitt Street.
  • Try a website – a Facebook page or Meetup.com could be used or use Ten Forty’s Contact service.

 

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 ( wonders of Wikipedia).  Or this task can be given to the person who nominated the 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.
  • Others work from meeting to meeting nominating or handing out books for the next meeting.
  • Some prepare a list for six or even 12 months ahead.
  • Some read books only in certain genres:  travel, detective stories, prize winners, non-fiction, or may rely on suggestions from members.

 

SUPPLY OF BOOKS

  •  Some libraries will supply sets of up to ten books for groups. Some groups           have a kitty to buy books to share and then donate to the library.
  • Many use library and other ebooks BUT they can’t lend them,
  • PS: To buy online, try local sellers or www.booksandcollectibles.com.au or Ebay

Jan Aitkin (ambrosia@bigpond.com)

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