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Are you an avid reader of books and have been wanting to join a bookclub? Have you thought about starting one? Here are a few tips on starting your own bookclub.
1. The people (members)
First things first, people make or break the success of a bookclub. Start with a core group of 2 or 3 friends who are like minded and have a similar interest in books. Ask these friends to invite other book readers or lovers of books not just friends unless they are friends who read. Remember this is a bookclub not a stokvel or social club, it must be people who will read books and review them.
2. Number of members
People who love reading meet in all types of places. At bookshops, at parties or just by striking up a conversation in a train or a bus. So finding 10-12 people to join or become a bookclub shouldn’t be so difficult. Remember you need a larger number of people in order to have enough people in attendance at each meeting as not every single people is always available. If you have 10-12 members, you are likely to get 7-8 members attending at each meeting
3. Where and how often?
Ask yourself what is a convenient place to meet? At a home, restaurant, libraries, clubhouse etc. pick a place that is quiet as noisy places don’t Forster good discussions and pick a place where you will feel relaxed. You can alternate hosting the bookclub as members. How often do you meet? Choose between monthly, every 6 weeks or every 2 months. Remember that it is not easy for some to finish reading a book in a short period because of life’s commitments getting in the way.
4. Admin and communication
Every bookclub needs to have a way of communicating. Today’s whatsapp world has made it easier as you can create a whatsapp group with a secondary option of using email. Give your book club a name – a form of identity.
5. Set ground rules
Clear ground rules of the bookclub, informs members on expectations. These ground rules should cover the following areas: how to choose book club hosts? What should the host provide (venue, food, drinks?), how long should meetings be? What happens to late comers (punctuality)? What happens to members who don’t attend meetings? What happens to members who don’t read the required book quota? Be sure to write down all the ground rules for future members enrollment.
Remember: Bookclubs are meant to be fun, just like reading is. It is important to have a modus operandi on how you pick book titles and how you present reviews & discussions in order to get the
most out of your bookclub gathering. Talk as members and see how you want to run your bookclub.
Most of all, have a blast!
*Nonkululeko is the founder & member of the Bookclub Rockstars.