Good book clubs need good books! The process of picking books to read is paramount to getting good books. Most everything else flows easily once that is in place. There are many ways to pick books. To insure good books and good discussions we are trying the following method for picking. For the notes below, a cycle is one iteration through each member of the club in order of first name.
- Each member will pick a book for the book club to read in each cycle at a designated picking meeting. This picking meeting is only for picking books, there is no book to read or discuss at the picking meeting.
- Each member will bring a selection of books that they have identified to the picking meeting. We will go around the group with each member introducing each of their books and sharing why they think it would be a good read, and why they think it would be a good book club dialog.
- There will be no voting. The picker will evaluate the responses that the group had to each of their books and will decide on one to read.
- After all members have discussed their books we will go around again and select the books to be read.
Expected benefits to this method include:
- Each member is guaranteed that the book club will read one of their books each cycle.
- Each member has “skin in the game” since one of their books will be picked.
- Members will know far in advance which books will be read at which meetings. This can allow better planning, an ability to use libraries more, and more options for longer books.
We are open to multiple members coordinating on a longer read, and if those members agree picking one book that could extend across multiple meetings. In this case those members bring forward the book collectively and it is all of their picks.
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