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Anyone belong to a book group?

(18 Posts)
NotJanine Sat 30-Jan-16 15:09:12

I've been trying to join a group locally without any luck, so was thinking of setting up my own.
As I've never been to one, I would be interested in hearing of other people's experiences; how they are run, pitfalls, if running one is a PITA and I shouldn't bother!

AnneEtAramis Sat 30-Jan-16 15:43:03

I run at book group. It's very casual. I hastened to add that I didn't start it but took it over. The original organiser put a few posters up in the library/book shop/cafe where she was hosting it and we just turned up. We now (5 years later ) have about 8 regulars and some more sporadic attendees.

Ours is very informal and we never have set questions or anything, we just talk about our likes and dislikes and often talk about other books and cultural pursuits. We usually recommend books, do a show of hands and pick that way. We have an email that I send out after club and shortly before the next meet and occasionally we might have some banter in between.

- put up some posters
- list it on a local Internet board
- approach a cafe that opens at the time you want

You might not get loads at first but you will get people and IMO 8 is optimum anyway.

Are there any friends that might be interested? That way you can start with 3/4 easily.

CrayonShavings Sat 30-Jan-16 15:45:58

My book club are friends from the school gates, plus other friends we've invited. Ie no randoms!

We meet once a month at the chooser of the books home, bring a bottle, if everyone's read the book it's great.

BettyBi0 Sat 30-Jan-16 15:56:20

I'm in a book group of local mums. It started with an ad on a local parenting page and there are about 6 regulars. We meet once a month in a local pub or restaurant and take it in turns to choose the book. It's pretty informal and we usually only talk about the actual book for about half and hour and the rest is just mummy banter. It's a great way to meet local friends

Hero1callylost Sat 30-Jan-16 16:00:46

My local library holds a list of local book groups and they also have a list of books they know they have 10-15 copies of that groups can borrow on a group card for a month (rather than the usual 3 week limit)

Worth asking at yours!

NotJanine Sat 30-Jan-16 16:26:41

Thanks - I have asked local library and they couldn't give me any info.

I don't have any friends to set one up with, so it would be all 'randoms'. I'm not outgoing so it feels quite daunting!

CrayonShavings Sat 30-Jan-16 16:41:16

Be brave! If not friends, people you know? From work, school run, gym? Plus randoms grin

Facebook is a good way to organise this kind of thing.

BettyBi0 Sat 30-Jan-16 16:47:12

Our group started as all randoms and now we are good friends. Just take a little risk and put an add out there. It's pot luck who joins in but you'll always have something to talk about.

We always pick pretty easy reads and no-one is expected to have grand theories on the literature

Pebbles574 Sat 30-Jan-16 16:48:48

Some Waterstone's bookshops run then - if you live in a town near one check the 'events' page on their website. There's also a website called 'MeetUps' which often lists some.

senua Sat 30-Jan-16 16:55:39

You need rules.

Rule No 1: If the host provides nibbles that's nice. But we will not get caught up in Competitive Catering. <gavel>

DickDewy Sat 30-Jan-16 22:15:23

My fellow book clubbers meet once per half term.

We take it in turns to host at our homes.

We drink copiously and gossip excessively. The book is rarely mentioned. Despite, this, I still value it as a good book club.

We constantly try to reinvent it (usually after a particularly atrocious wine soaked evening) - so that we will actually discuss a book, but so far, it's still drunken gossiping.

We do suggest a book each time though, and I do manage to read it. Our latest is 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander', which I loved.

DickDewy Sat 30-Jan-16 22:17:26

PS - everyone brings wine and the host does nibbles. I do naice ones, but only because dh makes them.

BillWagglestaff Mon 01-Feb-16 19:05:22

I started a book group through the Meet Up website. It's quite expensive, but I invite a voluntary donation of £1 to cover running costs.

After having been in a book club which was taken over by a lady with a very didactic approach, I was determined to make mine much more relaxed! Our unwritten rules are:

We meet in a pub and the description on meet up stresses that it is informal and relaxed.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether or not they have read the book, as long as they don't mind spoilers.

We all contribute anything we fancy reading to a list of suggested reads. Every month, we select one at random. Anyone has the option of vetoing any book if they don't fancy it (we ask for vetoes before we make our random selection).

I take along a list of questions on the book being discussed, but we often don't need them. It's really just an informal chat which often branches into other areas!

The advantage of Meetup is that we have a central core of about six members, with up to ten extras who come and go. There's a really eclectic mix of ages and interests which is great. The group's been running for two years now and we have formed friendships and branched into separate activities (sports, meals out, parties,etc).

Good luck with starting a group!

NotJanine Tue 02-Feb-16 09:46:06

Bill I was wondering about setting up a meetup group - how much do they cost to host?

I was thinking that once the group was established, it wouldn't need to be on meetup any more?

Clawdy Tue 02-Feb-16 22:11:01

Our book group started out with two people who each asked a friend,and the friends did the same till we had eight members. We take turns and if it's your turn you choose the book,host the discussion at your house and provide wine and crisps. We've picked some really varied books,and ten years later still going strong.

NathalieM Wed 03-Feb-16 16:50:56

I've always been a bit too intimated to join a book group, as much as I'd like to sad does anyone else feel a similar way? Think I'm being insecure, just scared everyone will be at a much higher level than I am.

exexpat Wed 03-Feb-16 17:02:10

My book group was set up through mumsnet local pages a few years ago, and brought together half a dozen or so regulars from various parts of a biggish city. None of us would have met in real life without MN - different ages, locations, jobs, age of children etc - but we all get on well and have become real friends.

We tend to meet in various pubs near the city centre on Monday evenings, when they tend to be quiet (unless they are running pub quiz nights)

BillWagglestaff Thu 04-Feb-16 22:50:02

Gosh, sorry, only just returned to this thread! Meetup costs 90 dollars every six months, which is expensive but I ask people to make a donation (usually they put in a quid) towards running costs. We were talking recently about going off the site now we are established and maintaining contact via email, but I'm not sure how popular this would be.

It really depends what you want from a Book Group, I reckon. I wanted to kick start my reading again after having a baby, and I also wanted to meet some new people. It has helped me meet both those goals! smile

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