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Book clubs

Written by Kirsten on November 2nd, 2010

Only once before have I attempted to start a book club. The other two women and I lived in three different cities, worked very different schedules, and had busy social lives; these ingredients do not a successful book club make. So for those of you who have participated in or organized book clubs, what would you recommend when kicking off a new one? What pitfalls can you advise against, and what tips have you found to be helpful in maintaining the energy? Have you read full books for each meeting, or segments? How many people do you think is a comfortable number that allows for everyone to be heard?


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. I belong to an online bookclub with a group of other authors. It’s been a great way to read work I wouldn’t have normally chosen. I enjoy hearing the thoughts of more seasoned authors as they consider the work of others. Sometimes we even email the author we’re reading and ask questions. I think most readers would be surprised at how responsive authors can be. Just be sure to email them at their website addresses and not through their publishers, because that’s a much more direct way to contact folks.

    • Kirsten says:

      That sounds great, Joanna! I’ve been really pleased to see some prominent authors who are very interactive with their readers on Twitter. They don’t just use it as a platform to promote their works, which, for me at least, makes me much more likely to read more of them.

  2. Dogearedcopy says:

    I’ve never started an IRL book club before but I have been a member of a couple. I’m not anymore which maybe is worth noting. I stopped going to IRL book clubs when the selections all got to be “safe” ones: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, etc. Don’t get me wrong, they are all very nice books, perfectly suitable for book clubs and gift-giving alike, but the steady diet of these kinds of books had me yearning for books with more edge.

    • Kirsten says:

      That’s part of what I love about the BC my friends and I are starting. We’re choosing deliberately “tough” texts – they’re not all supremely academic, but they have been chosen because of their ability to draw forth discussion about the members’ journeys. It’s a butch-femme club that will explore mostly fiction that focuses on butch-femme dynamics, so we can each relate our personal experiences both in reading the selected novels, and how the texts mirror our lives (or how they don’t).

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