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Books/book club

Real book club or reading group

(16 Posts)
chelseababy Tue 15-Sep-15 21:06:26

Do any of you attend a real (rather than online) book group? If so how do you pick the book and how long do you spend discussing it? At the group I go to more time is spent drinking wine and putting the world to rights than talking about the book! Sometimes only a couple of people have read it. Should I just go with the flow or say something?

rubylady Wed 16-Sep-15 01:23:20

When I attended my first book club get together three weeks ago, there was just me and the group organiser. I hadn't finished the book as I had only had it for a couple of weeks so could not discuss fully. We chatted, got to know each other a bit better. It lasted about 2 hours and is every month. We take turns in choosing a book.

I suppose if not everyone reads it, it does leave space for on the odd occassion, say you are too busy too, to not fully read one yourself without feeling obliged or guilty. If wine and chat happens, then so be it, at least people are meeting and sharing time, much better than being alone. smile

wondergran Wed 16-Sep-15 04:53:26

We meet once a month at local library. Generally all members give suggestions for books so we have a very diverse range of reading material. We don't have so much as a cup of tea at our meeting so it's all totally focussed on discussing the book, which we generally do at great length. Your group sounds more of a simple, social group which is fine in itself but for me personally I want most members to have read the book so we can have an in depth discussion about it. If this is not the format that you're after then perhaps you could look for an alternative reading group.....

Nandalot Wed 16-Sep-15 13:24:44

Our book group meets once a month in one of our homes. Books are provided by our library service for the princely fee of about £2 a head for the year! We have to choose from a set list of titles and each make a choice. Discussion time depends on the book we have read. Some don't take much discussing, others can spark a good debate with differing viewpoints. Sometimes the talk will range to associated topics which emerge from the theme/s of the book. There is a social element too. We start with a general chat, gives time for latecomers to arrive. We also have a few nibbles at the end..and some more chat!

chelseababy Wed 16-Sep-15 13:49:07

That sounds good Nan. My previous club was free through the library with books provided from a list. We had tea and biscuits and talked about the book for twenty to thirty minutes followed by general chat with people starting to leave after about an hour. My current one is very local and we meet in our homes whereas the former one started to meet in a cafe. Think I will ask at next meeting what people want from the group and take it from there.

chelseababy Wed 16-Sep-15 13:52:22

Any recommendations for our next book club read? We are all women. We usually come up with ideas and take a vote. If there's a tie the host decides. Thanks

Maggiemaybe Wed 16-Sep-15 14:21:33

I'm a member of two reading groups. One is very sociable, meets every couple of months, we have wine and nibbles from 8, moving on to tea and sweet stuff at 10ish, and off home around 10.45. There are 9 of us in all and we go to each other's homes. Sometimes there are only 4 or 5 of us, usually 7 or 8. It's fun, but we do spend most of the meeting catching up with each other and putting the world to rights. Sometimes only a couple of us have finished the book, so we can't have a full discussion, but we do talk about what we have read and enjoyed! We choose the next book during the meeting, by pulling up Richard & Judy or newspaper recommendations/best-selling lists/book award shortlists, and just seeing what we all fancy. Very occasionally we go for a classic, by way of a change, but then it's even less likely we'll all have read it!

The other group is a daytime one, every month at a local library, just an hour and our books are provided from a selection chosen by the group from a library list. We have a theme - it used to be thrillers, but has evolved to include anything with a mystery in it. No food or drink apart from our pre Christmas meeting. We actually all read the book and discuss it properly - probably influenced by sitting in the library.

I really enjoy both, but the second format s the one to go for if you want a focus on the book, rather than the group.

Maggiemaybe Wed 16-Sep-15 14:25:30

As for books, there's a list of all the previous GN Book Club reads in the Books section. There are some great choices there and you can check out some of the reviews too. smile

Maggiemaybe Wed 16-Sep-15 14:53:17

It took me ages to remember where the list is! The link is just to the right - Gransnet recommended reads (with the cup and saucer).

chelseababy Wed 16-Sep-15 15:50:21

smile thank you I'll check that out and go to the next meeting with a few ideas!

janerowena Wed 16-Sep-15 22:42:42

We meet up every two months as we are all rather busy in the evenings. There are six of us, so that works nicely as we each know when its our turn, by the calendar. We choose two or three books, quite often at least one of them will be from the Man Booker prize list, or those shortlisted for the list. I try to choose something beautifully written, then something funny, then either a thriller or a historical one. I've already picked one for my next turn to choose - Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - it's wonderful, I am reading it now.

We arrive, have a drink (whatever we want, tea or coffee or wine or something) and talk about each book. However we all read a lot, so there will always be sideways recommendations going on throughout, two of our ladies, like romances, two like witchcraft and demons, the other, like me, will read anything. I reckon the final hour is chat, but even so, we do keep coming back to the books we have just read. Sometimes a couple of the slower readers won't have managed them all. We also spend quuite a while discussing the ones for the next meeting, as sometimes the hostess will offer quite a selection.

I don't think I could cope with a meeting in which I was asked the motive of one of the characters, or had a dissection chapter by chapter. It would be too much like school! The books read do stretch us, and challenge us and our beliefs. They make us think, they are often books that we would never pick up in a library for ourselves.

crossstitchgill Sat 19-Sep-15 15:52:23

I have belonged to a book group for about 30 years. It started as an offshoot of the local National Housewives' Register group and when that folded we just carried on. Every year we have a planning meeting where we suggest and vote for a book for each month. Then we check with the local library to see if they can supply us with enough copies. We do not have to pay for this service at the moment. We always have a reserve list as not all the books chosen are available in the library. We meet once a month in the house of the person who has volunteered to lead the meeting by finding out about the author, reviews, etc. Until a couple of years ago we were an all-female group but a friend of one member's husband was interested in joining and he has proved an asset to the group. The policy of the group is not to read anything "light" but the book has to lead to a discussion. Sometimes this works! We usually end with tea/coffee and biscuits and general chat.

Luckygirl Sat 19-Sep-15 21:38:17

We meet in the pub!!! Books from the library service. No three line whip over reading the book and everyone understands if someone has not had time to read it. But we spend about half the time discussing the book and the rest of the time catching up on local gossip - great! smile

GrandmaH Tue 22-Sep-15 13:22:35

I run 2 Reading Groups for my WI. We meet once a month in someone's house & I choose the books & prepare the discussion points. I get the books from the library. Surrey have a list of books with more than 25 copies that we can get quickly but we get new books too- which is very helpful. We have had the odd classic book & some older books as well as new books- a real variety. I have to throw I a thriller sometimes too- at the request of a couple of the members. I did a 3 day course at Denman on how to run a reading group which gave me the confidence to start it up & was so useful. We started with one group then it got too big so we split it. We have been going about 6 years & read a huge variety of books.
Sometimes someone suggests a book - which is really helpful for me & when I am away someone else takes the meeting. Ideally it would be good to have a 2nd leader as both groups read the same book each month but no-one feels they want to do it (yet). We have about 10 in each group.
I love it & it is interesting that both groups have very different ideas & come up with totally different opinions about the book each month.
We finish up with a chat & a goss. of course. Part of the fun.

janerowena Tue 22-Sep-15 14:40:35

We do have one member who feels we should spend the whole two hours just discussing the books. After a couple of years, she has given up trying to convert us, and now relaxes and enjoys herself. I really don't want to dissect any book to that extent.

rosesarered Tue 22-Sep-15 17:39:24

I have been a member of all sorts of book clubs over the years, but the best one is as described by Janerowena, much more relaxed and enjoyable.The worst was run on schoolroom lines, with one or two over serious killjoys doing most of the talking, it folded in the first year.