Every body needs a little inspiration once in a while, including book clubs – especially if you’re just starting up or feel your book club is in a bit of a lull. Maybe enthusiasm isn’t what it used to be, so you’re looking for ways to spice things up. Luckily, there are some easy fixes.
Even if you think you have the perfect balance of introverted and extroverted members to start and keep any conversation going, it’s best if someone is in charge of leading the meeting.
You see, women love to chat – catch up on all the latest happenings – be in the know. And as much as everyone looks forward to and enjoys this, a good book club meeting requires balance. It’s fair to say that someone needs to keep the meeting on track, introduce new topics as the conversation dwindles or get everyone back on point if things digress. This is a lot of work and a huge responsibility– let one person do it all the time and they will surely burn out-share this task and let everyone take a turn.
A happy meeting means good healthy banter. But we’ve all experienced it – some discussions really catch fire, the conversation jumps from one person to the next. And fast. Time flies.
As wonderful as this is, it can also mean some members need to leave before the final wrap-up. So rather than running out of time, make sure to cover any business items before the discussion begins; pick your next reading selection, plan outings or author events, confirm the next meeting date or deal with schedule changes.
This would also be a good time to give a shout out to new members and welcome them into the fold. One big cohesive group, where everyone feels comfortable, leads to success.
Aim high and try to ignite the passion in everyone. This means encouraging all members to read the selection, join in and stay up to date.
The secret to keeping things alive and fun in any endeavor- marriage, friendships, or relationships in general, is diversity.
For book clubs this means trying to think outside the box. Get to know your local bookstore, ask if they have a mailing list for events. Or Google your favorite author and some of the big publishing houses or your favorite book website and become part of their community.
Bookstores sponsor author events all the time. Why not consider a visit to an author signing in lieu of a meeting.
If a trip just won’t work for your book club, not to worry; these days, many authors are more than happy to join your meeting via Skype. Another idea to mix things up is to change the location – have it outdoors in the warmer months. Set a table up or form a big circle on the lawn with your chairs or break up your meeting with a short invigorating walk.
Fresh air is an amazing energizer, which makes public parks wonderful meeting places too–the scenery alone will inspire people to participate. You can also hold your meeting in a restaurant. Really, anything different works wonders.
Additionally, there are many books to movies and plays today. Give some thought to reading the book, seeing the movie or the play and discussing things over drinks or dinner afterwards.
Another idea that may work for some book clubs is to pick a YA book that mothers and daughters or sons can enjoy together. The young people can attend the discussion meeting, or not, depending on your book club’s preference. Either way the perspective the young person brings to the table is sure to be different and discussion worthy. And what mother can resist a truly good bonding experience?
But beware, too much of a good thing can cause boredom to set in. Don’t be afraid to skip a few months.
Many book clubs only meet 10 times a year. December is just too crazy busy and July or August, peak vacation time. Have an open discussion with your members and decide what works best for your book club.
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