#BookClub – How To Sustain & Amplify MOTIVATION In Order To Get Sht DONE!
How to Sustain Book Club Membership
A book club is only as good as its members. Without a steady base of committed members, you book club will inevitably falter and fall apart. The first hurdle to overcome is finding members who are genuinely interested in being a part of your book club. The second biggest hurdle is transforming simple interest into undying commitment.
Finding Interested Members
Post messages around town.Look for community bulletin boards located in churches, libraries, or gyms. Similarly, if your office has a bulletin board, feel free to post an advertisement for your book club there—as long as doing so does not violate office policy, of course.
- You could also try posting an invite to boards online, but you will need to find a website that tailors to your local community. A message board for your community will work, as will a free online classifieds service.
Put in a request with the venue.If your book club meets a library or book store, ask the venue for help recruiting new members. A librarian or book store manager is likely to know many people who love books. If the person in charge has already allowed your book club to meet there, that person may also be willing to help you find interested members.
Talk to other book clubs.Book clubs are not necessarily competitive about membership. A book club that has grown too large for itself might be willing to give you the contact information for anyone who they needed to turn away due to size constraints. Additionally, another book club may have a few members that might be interested in joining your club in addition to their original club if the focus is different.
Turning Interest into Commitment
Keep the discussions lively.One of the fastest ways to lose interest is to have meeting after meeting of awkward silence. People come to a book club to talk about books, and if the talking stops, so does the coming. Come to each meeting with a list of open-ended questions to ask about each book.
- If you are the facilitator of the group, it is your responsibility to keep things on track when people start to get quiet or begin talking about too many off-topic matters. If you are only an ordinary member, you hold just as much responsibility as anyone else to speak up. Anyone interested in generating further interest among the members of a book club must first go the extra length to show his or her own intense interest.
Maintain a comfortable atmosphere.A book club is nothing more than a social group that meets for a specific purpose. A good book club needs structure, but if you have too much structure, members may start to feel uncomfortable. A simple way to nurture a comfortable environment is to show interest in the other members. A simple greeting of "It's good to see you" can go a long way in making someone feel welcome.
Let everyone have their say.Within any group of people, you will find talkers and listeners. That does not mean that the listeners have nothing of their own to add, though. Pay close attention to the group’s dynamics. If one or two people seem to control the entire conversation while someone else keeps getting interrupted, politely stop the talkers and casually ask for the oppressed listener’s thoughts.
- Another important thing to remember is that everyone’s opinion should be treated with respect. You may not agree with an interpretation that one of your club’s members brings up, but that is no reason for you or any other club member to be offensive. Club members should discuss their different opinions civilly and be stopped once the conversation starts turning nasty.
Make sure to read books that people want.Instead of letting one person have complete control over the reading list, your club's membership will thrive longer if more people have a say. You can either take turns picking books or have the members vote on options brought up by everyone. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that all the members feel as though their likes and dislikes are being addressed.
Set some rules about attendance.Book clubs only work if the members are willing to show up. Everyone will inevitably miss a meeting here or there, but if someone consistently demonstrates a lack of interest by never showing up, it can be discouraging to the other members. It is better to cut that person loose and find a new member.
- Forbidding members from attending if they are not up-to-date in their reading may turn some people away. On the other hand, being too lax about the reading requirement can lead to a room of people who have yet to make it past chapter five in the same book for the last three months. Have a reading requirement, but enforce it loosely enough to keep people comfortable.
Bribe members with food.Simple refreshments, like coffee and cookies, can work for nearly any meeting. You could also try enhancing the reading by making a related food selection. For instance, if a character talks about a certain dish in the book, try preparing that dish to bring to the club. Similarly, if your club is reading an 18th century British classic, consider a snack that calls that era to mind.
Meet for a related event.Field trips and other fun events help the members bond as a group and may increase each member's sense of attachment or belonging.
- If the book your club is reading was ever made into a film adaptation, meet separately one night for a showing of the movie.
- Invite an expert to talk to your group. You can talk to a literature professor or local writer for generic books. If you are reading a book about a specific topic, you could also have an expert from that field come to your group and talk.
- Read something local and visit the places mentioned in the book. Oftentimes, you can find a book that centers around your hometown or a nearby area. Read that book and take a field trip to the places mentioned in it.
Keep everyone in the loop.Have a contact list with addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Whenever there is a change, make sure to personally speak with each member to inform him or her of the change. If possible, you may even want to set up an email group or online community to make communication between members easier.
QuestionWhat would be a recommended fee to charge members of a book club as a format of commitment?Community AnswerMost book clubs are free, but if you want to hold a large book club,then it depends on the quality and size. Members would have to feel that they're gaining value for their dues.Thanks!
- Have a consistent schedule. Making it easy to know when and where to meetings are will make it easier for members to show up.
- If you are the book club's leader, consider making handouts to give to your group during the meeting, especially if the group is fairly large. This may be a turn off for some people, but it can also help the discussion stay focused.
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