21 Mar 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)