From time to time, I like to take up and aggressively pursue my passion for reading. Because I find reading to be quite difficult, especially with such a busy work schedule, I’ve decided the best way to incorporate reading into my life is through a book club.
Joining a book club is an interesting experience. At first, I did not find a club that I truly felt connected with and it almost seemed as if the book club participants were rather laxed in their approach. For someone like me, interested in seriously focusing on reading, I felt I needed to find a book club with a more serious focus; one that would enlist a sort of policy requirement for the reading participants.
Policies in the scope of a reading group can be varied, I’ve learned. To maintain the peace and harmony of a reading group, there are essential group policies that should be adhered to. First, the group should decided, and vote, as to how often they wish to meet. Generally, book clubs meet once per week.
After choosing the frequency of meetings, the next step is to establish the time for meetings. While this may seem to be part of step one, many book clubs are allowing for a time for socializing. This provides time, usually before the book club meeting for new members to be introduced and regular members to share stories and catch up on activities unrelated to reading.
Another policy in successful book clubs is the “two-meeting trial period”. This is a period in which new members are given two consecutive meetings in which to come, participate and share in their reading experience. By the third meeting, the established members will make a decision as to whether or not the new member can join on a permanent basis. By allowing this “two meeting trial period”, book clubs are provided an opportunity to choose the members that best fit the personality of their members.
In a book club, there should always be a member that leads the group formal discussion with other members permitted opportunities to discuss the book in further detail. For those members who were unable to finish the book, an opportunity to share the reasons why the book was not completed, i.e. boredom or lack of interest, should be shared freely.
Using these simple techniques, many book clubs, across the country, are growing by leaps and bounds. As an avid reader, finding a book club with members you enjoy is just as crucial as the books chosen for reading. Whether putting your own book club together, or joining an existing book club, research and establish a policies and procedures guideline to ensure all members are familiar with the expectations of book club membership and your club meetings are as fun as reading should be!