Who Are We?
We are a small reading group in southeastern Idaho, with an eclectic mix that at present is comprised of teachers, scientists, engineers, and government and private business employees with personal interests that range from baking to yoga to wine to outdoor pursuits.
We strive to welcome new members of diverse backgrounds, neighborhoods, churches, employers, and age groups to keep our book discussions lively and interesting. We enjoy discussing books of all genres, including those books that as individuals we might not choose to read on our own.
The club is still fairly new and its members and format are evolving, but we are enjoying meeting new friends and expanding our minds through our reading and discussions.
How Our Club Works
Our monthly meetings are held in alternating members’ homes or occasionally in a restaurant or coffee shop. Hosting is not required by members, but all are welcome to host. The hostess sometimes tries to provide food that is relevant to the book we read (there was an amazing Cambodian meal when discussing “The Rent Collector” and southern picnic fare for “The Secret Life of Bees”) but other times we keep it simple with take n’ bake pizza or potluck.
The meetings are a mixture of socializing, club business, and book discussion. The host chooses the format for the discussion, which may include a prepared list of questions about the book, games, quizzes, or a more casual informal discussion—all of which have worked very well for us. It is the responsibility of the host to ensure that the discussion moves along and stays relevant to the book, even if the format is informal and free form.
Club business is briefly discussed at some point during the meeting and includes upcoming hosts and book selections, and scheduling the next meeting.
All members are encouraged to suggest books and selections are agreed upon by consensus. Something that has worked very well for our group is to keep a running 3 month schedule of book selections. At each of our meetings, whomever volunteered to host for the 3rd month out will present a list of 3 book summaries. Members quickly vote and/or discuss and select one book as the group choice.
A reasonable reading goal for most people is 100 pages per week. While this generally ensures that the book can be finished in time for the next meeting, on occasion our group will adjust the schedule to accommodate a longer book or reading at a less aggressive pace less than 100 pages a week.
Please keep in mind that the main point of our meetings is to have an intellectual discussion of the book. If you sometimes can’t finish a book in the allotted time, that’s ok—come anyway. However, if you are consistently not reading, is a book club right for you?
- If you are hosting a meeting, please remember to send out a meeting reminder that includes a note about whether a meal or lighter fare will be served, i.e. how hungry we should be when we arrive.
- Send an RSVP to the host, giving as much notice as possible as to whether you will be attending or not. If many are unable to attend, the host may choose to reschedule.
- Be open-minded and a “good sport” about whatever discussion format is chosen.
- Be gracious! Don’t interrupt others or dominate the discussion.
- While it is interesting and appropriate to relate stories from your life as part of the discussion, please try to keep these stories relevant to some issue from the book.
- We are interested in everyone’s views about the book. There is no one way to experience or interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions are good.
- Guests are allowed if the guest-bringer has the permission of the host. The guest-bringer has the responsibility of telling the guest that they are not, in fact, a member.
Our local membership is rather small at 6-8 folks, which we feel is just right. Any more will stretch our living rooms and our conversation too much. If you know someone that you think would be a good fit for the group, please discuss this at a meeting prior to saying anything to the potential member. If agreed upon by the group, an invitation may then be extended. Our goal is to have considerate, interesting book discussions with a range of viewpoints, so we try hard to not have too many members from the same neighborhood, church, employer, etc.
We openly welcome online members. We look forward to having you read along with us and join in on our discussions and reviews. Please introduce yourself in the comments below.