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Forming A Reading Club

Forming A Reading Club

Our future leaders – our children – are growing up with less attraction for books and serious reading. They like to watch television, especially addictive cartoon channels. They surf the internet for chatting, social networking, entertainment and satisfaction of their curiosities. This their preoccupation leaves them with little time to search for knowledge in books. In view of this, parents, schools and systems have a responsibility to explore creative ways to cultivate and encourage a reading culture among the youths. One of such ways is a reading club.

Starting or joining a book club is initially exciting. You are meeting new people, reading new books, talking about stories and authors for hours. Unfortunately, setting up rules and choosing books that everyone doesn’t agree on can make things feel stressed. There are also issues of deadlines to complete book reading and organising reading sessions. Book clubs can be intense, but they don’t have to be.

Book clubs are all about exploring new books as a group and asking interesting questions. They are about listening to different points of view and how everyone interpreted metaphors or themes.

Steps in forming a book club:

  1. Spend Your First Day Getting To Know Everyone and Come Up With a Club Name

Even if you already have an established book club, it’s never too late to talk with everyone and get to know them outside of the book club. You can also get to know your group by asking questions about their favorite childhood book and who inspires them the most. It also makes a book club 10 times more fun when you have a silly group name. Get creative and don’t let any ideas get lost in the process!

  1. Keep Book Choices under 300 Pages

Keeping books on a smaller scale eliminates the stress of having to finish a massive book in a few weeks. This will also help narrow down book choices.

  1. Celebrate After Finishing a Book

Meeting up to discuss a book is exciting, but if you celebrate it like you would a birthday or holiday, it makes it even more fun! Make it a pot-luck and have everyone bring something (simple) to eat. You could even make it themed around the book you read. If the book has a movie adaptation, have a movie night with popcorn and watch it together.

  1. Switch up Your Meeting Spots

Meeting at home is easy for some groups, but switching up your spot — a cafe, library, big bookstore, or even a park on a nice day — can make all the difference between a strict and laid-back book club. Open up the idea to your club and see what other places you can think of to meet at.

  1. Use an Online Calendar

Technology comes in handy with book clubs. Create a Google calendar where everyone can put up their schedules and you can find a day that works for everyone to all meetup. If something comes up, it’s easy to put in a note and say why you won’t be able to attend. If you want, you could also include your thoughts on the book so you are still part of the conversation.

  1. Open up Book Discussion with a Game

Break out the board games! Scrabble, spellings anything that screams fun! Sure it might seem a little silly and off track, but it’ll make the atmosphere more open and easy to work with when it comes to discussing a difficult or controversial book.

  1. Break Up Into Small Groups

This helps for bigger book clubs made up of more than 15 people. Even if your book club is on the smaller side, this still helps for people who tend to be quieter and their comments, questions, and thoughts get lost in the conversation. Small groups may sound a little like high school, but by teaming everyone up it allows everyone to share their thoughts and come back together and offer an equal amount of time to each person.

  1. Diversify Your Book Choices

Take a look at the last three novels your book club read and see if there are any similarities. Were they all written by the same author? Has your group ever read a translated book? Have you explored other genres? Break out of your traditions and explore a new book together and it might inspire you to explore other authors, genres, and topics!

  1. Include Refreshment (optional)

Refreshment can always make a book club way more fun than intense.

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