How My Book Group Works

“Mine” in the sense that it’s the book group I belong to, not that I have ownership of it. But I was one of the founding members, and I’m the record keeper and reminder-sender.

The book group year starts in September. I don’t remember why. In September we don’t read a book. Instead, we have a potluck dinner and vote on what books to read in the upcoming year.

It would seem that how to choose books is as individual as each book group, so I can only tell you how we, currently, do it. Everyone sends me the title, author and a brief description of books they’d like to recommend to the group for the upcoming year. If they’re very nice, they also let me know how many copies the library has and if the book is available in paperback. Sometimes I have to look that info up myself for the finished list. Everyone sends me their recommendations by Aug. 15th, so I can have the completed, alphabetical list out to everyone by Sept. 1. Since we meet the second Monday of the month, this gives everyone time to look the list over.

Now for the high-tech part. At the meeting, everyone gets 11 paperclips, because we read 11 books each year. The titles and authors are printed on 3×5 cards, and the cards gets passed around so everyone can vote by placing their clips on the cards of the books they want to vote for. No piling clips on one card–everyone votes for 11 books. Then we tally. If there’s a tie, those present debate the books in question and we decide by a vote or by who is most enthusiastic/loudest.

Every month I send out a reminder a week or so before the meeting, reminding people of the book, author and location. At the Sept. meeting, we also have people sign up to host each month. If we have a blank month or the host suddenly can’t host, for whatever reason, we default to a local coffee shop.

We used to meet in a coffee shop every month, but decided we liked the coziness of homes better. Also, some coffee-making contraptions are louder than revving space shuttles, making conversation difficult to follow. But we’ve discovered recently that occasional forays into public are a lot of fun.

I think that’s everything, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

One response to “How My Book Group Works

  1. Love the card and paperclip idea!!!

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