I have book club on the brain right now. Today is my monthly BPL book discussion (look for a full report on The Lace Reader later in the week), and at our meeting we will begin the 2 month process of choosing out books for the first half of 2011. In the meantime, a bunch of us on the BPL staff are organizing ourselves for an after hours book club starting in January.
But wait...there's more. I am also giving my popular program for patrons entitled, "Recharge Your Book Club" on the 26th at the La Grange Public Library (click here to register for this free program).
This program has been successful at libraries in the past, and is filled with many tips and tricks to reinvigorate any book club. Trust me, I have been leading the same group for 10 years and we are still going strong.
One of my favorite tips is to pick books that are not brand new. So many book groups want to read "the hot book," in book club, but getting your hands on the hot book is often difficult. This leads to grumpy participants. Getting your hands on the book easily should be one of the group's main goals.
Also, sometimes, it is a back list gem that really energizes your group. Last year we read a best seller from the 1990s, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, it was a huge hit. People who had read it back when it first came out were happy to revisit it, and those who had never read it were glad to have had the chance. We are doing the same thing with Julia Child's My Life in France in December. However, in general, our group's rule is that the book must be out in paperback, generally insuring that it will be procurable for our patrons.
My favorite resource for new ideas is the Booklist blog, Book Group Buzz. They even have a tag for "Book Club Tips." But if you want more tips from me, you are going to have to come to the program.
So for today's Monday Discussion, what would you suggest to a book group in the doldrums? What idea have worked for groups you have led or been in? And adding alcohol does not count. Let me know ideas for all age ranges of book groups too. I will give full credit to anyone's ideas that I use in the program next week.
To follow past Monday Discussions click here.
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