Making the group workThis advice is based on the experience of several long-standing book groups. We asked them what had worked for their groups, what problems they'd encountered and how they'd resolved them. Here are their tips for starting up a group and keeping it running smoothly.
You may want to think about:
cancellations/change of book if unavailable etc.
heard (too large a group may pose problems here)
together outside of the bookgroup e.g. weekends away
How to choose the bookThere are lots of different ways to choose the books but a popular method is for the host to choose it (or to offer a choice of several and then vote for one). The choices are usually based on:
we have read in newspapers and magazines
heard on the radio or television eg. Radio 4 Bookclub, Open Book, Richard and
or present prize-winning novels (Man Booker, Costa etc)
favourites that we would like to re-read and share
Alternatively simply go to our review page or review archive and browse through our recommended list.
What to discussTaking down short notes on a postcard while reading the book helps enormously when it comes to later discussion. Points to discuss could include:
emotional response to the book
memorable parts (descriptions/dialogue)
How to buy the books
Buying hardbacks can be expensive so, for reasons of economy, you may want to restrict your books to paperbacks. Availability can sometimes be a problem but you can click through from any of the books reviewed here and buy them direct from Amazon.co.uk where they can usually be dispatched within 24 hours.
Borrow books from your library
Many libraries hold multiple copies of books which they lend to groups and some will order in copies on request. Ask at your local library.