Sunday, June 29, 2014

Starting a Book Club, Part 2

Starting a book club begins with a desire to read a good book and share it with friends. If you're apprehensive, learning the basics will help you launch your book club.

I don’t know how to start a book club.
If you’re not sure how to begin your book club, go to your public library for suggestions. Some public libraries provide book club kits that include several copies of a book, information about the author, and discussion questions. Ask your librarian about the availability and guidelines regarding the kits.

I don’t know what we should read.
Consider starting a genre specific book club if all members are interested in the same genre. Some common genres appropriate for adult book clubs include the following:
  • Historical fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Mythology
  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Science Fiction
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Folklore
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Mystery
  • Horror
If you and your book club members have a favorite author, read multiple books written by one author, such as Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston among others.

What excites you and your book club members? Identifying specific themes and conflicts will help you select books that will hold your interest, such as crime doesn’t pay, man against nature, man against society, man against self, man against the supernatural, and man against man.

I don’t know what we should discuss.
If you don’t know what to say during your book club meetings, start by allowing each member to express their likes and dislikes. But don’t forget to include Why? Consider discussing these questions:
How did the book make you feel?
Why did the characters do, feel, or react the way they did?
Are you similar or different from the main character?
Does the main character experience a metamorphosis?
How does the setting affect the plot?
Would the plot be different if the action had taken place in a different time period?

You can also discuss any literary devices the author used:
Foreshadowing—when the author provides a hint of what will happen.
Symbols—when a character, object, or place signifies something other than itself.
Flashbacks—when the author describes an event that happened in the past.

I may not have time to keep up with the readings.
If you think you might not have time to read, try audible books. They are available for purchase along with an ebook download or by itself. Additionally, you can download an audio book from your public library's Website. You can also check out books on CD from your public library. Just pop the CD into the CD player in your vehicle while you're driving to work, or listen to an audible book on your tablet, laptop, or smart phone.

Starting a book club begins with a simple desire.

How has reading helped to shape your life? This is the story in you. Share it.


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