Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to Start Your Own Book Club

Guest Post: This post was written by freelance, professional writer and researcher, Imogen Reed

If You Can’t Find a Good Book Club, Start Your Own
If you live in area where there isn’t a local book club and the online ones available aren’t working out for you, consider starting your own. Yes, there are plenty of big name book clubs that feature countrywide but they’re nowhere near as enjoyable as your own little group comprised of local community members all with a common interest: reading. Starting your own book club doesn’t need to cost you a fortune and you won’t need to look for 0% balance transfer credit cards to fund it, in fact it could cost as little as a some ink from your printer and a couple of phone calls.

Where to Begin
The first step to keep in mind before even starting your book club is double checking nowhere in the area runs one that’d work for you. If you check out the local library you may find that they have a club that fits the bill and then you’ll be able to save all your time and effort. However, if you’re a natural organiser than this additional hobby could be just up your street.
The next step you need to consider is how you’re going to find members. There are plenty ways to go about this from posting on online forums and social networks to posting up leaflets and flyers in your library. You might already have a close knit group of friends who you know would love to get involved or it could mean finding a whole new group of like minded people. Once you’ve got some people together you need to find an appropriate place to meet. If you’ve got the space your own home is a great option for personal convenience or perhaps you can rotate around members’ homes? If not consider your library, community centre or town hall, most of whom will allow you to use their space free of charge.

Getting down to it
Now you’ve got the people and the place sorted, it’s time to get down to the guidelines and ins and outs of your club. It can be helpful to wait until your first meeting so all the members can have some input. It is worth decided some basics such as how often you’ll meet, remember just because you can read a book a week doesn’t mean everyone can. Most book clubs meet on a fortnightly or monthly basis but it’s an entirely personal decision what you do with yours.
The most important and probably most exciting thing that your group will do is choose a method for picking books. Maybe each member can take it in turns or you can choose to read books from a particular bestsellers list. It’s entirely up to you and your group. It can be fun to allow each member to choose as it means you may discover a new author or genre who would never have been on your horizon otherwise.

Can I really do it?
You may be thinking that all this sounds like a lot of work and whether it’s really worth it, well it certainly is. Yes, it takes some real organisation and some dedication from both you and the other group numbers but within a few short months, everything will fall into place and you’ll feel comfortable as a group to make decisions. Just because you decided to create the group doesn’t mean you have to be a standout figurehead or group leader and you can quite easily sit back and enjoy it within a relatively short time you can be just one of the guys. You might even find someone in the group who naturally commands attention and makes a great leader.
If you live in a rural area or are new to a community it can be a great way of making some new friends and sharing a common interest. Plenty of people love reading and despite their varying tastes, can all come together and enjoy the shared pleasure of reading. So, even though you may never have considered reading a good old Western before, your new reading buddies could be just the people to show you the merits of a well written adventure story and of course, vice versa.