Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, 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?Last summer, one of my good friends started a book club through google groups. We emailed our discussions. And it was mostly good fun. The way we worked it out was that she chose the books for one month, and she let me choose the books for the next month. We had planned on doing it again this summer, but then she had a wonderfully beautiful little baby. So no book clubs for a while. :)
But this past February, I started an online book club at Becky's Online Reading Groups. I choose the books, though I do often encourage others to provide feedback. I let people know that I'm open to them listing suggestions in the comments or through private email. And I almost always (but not always always) let people vote (through comments, poll, or email) between a handful of books. I might narrow it down to four or five choices. Or I might narrow it down to two choices even.
The June book is Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card. Participants include me and Chris. (There was a third person who voiced interested but never showed up. (and a fourth who emailed me that she was dropping out of this month's discussion)). I do allow for drop-outs by the way. I would rather people stop reading a book they disliked then have them push through it hating it all the way. Life's too short to clog up your reading life.
The July book is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I hope to have more participants for this one.
The August book is The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman. I don't know what turnout for this one will be.
The September book will be The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. I *hope* to see big turnout here for this one.
I *think* I'm a fairly relaxed leader. I don't care if people finish the book ahead of time. Or if they're running behind a few days or even a week or two behind. I'd rather have people go at a pace that is comfortable for them.
I'm always open to feedback and suggestions. That includes book selection, scheduling and pacing of book discussion, formatting, etc. I've never done this before. I'm still learning and trying to get a feel for what to do. So if you've participated and got tips on how to improve me, to improve the experience, I'm open to suggestions.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews