Alright, so I've been trying to decide what to do about book club for a while. I don't have as much time or energy to put into as I did in the beginning and with participation slowing every month, I feel like I should be doing more. Since I don't think doing more is feasible, I am thinking maybe shift to do things differently. Different how? I'm not sure yet, so I'm opening this discussion because I feel like this is better done with a group discussion. The book club is for everyone, the whole point is to try and find something that will encourage discussion and participation. So. Here are some of my ideas, I'm looking for feedback if people like them or not, and I am very open to suggestions/feedback as well (either for how we have been running things, or how we could possible do things in the future).
First, I want to mention that I really think opening weekly discussions with actual comments about the book seems to help garner more participation. For this reason, I have tried to read most all of the books in the past. But I don't want to feel like I *have* to read the book, so, I tried to think of some ways to try and encourage others to lead the monthly discussions.
My first idea was to ask whoever nominates the book to lead the discussions, but I decided that is probably a bad idea because it might discourage some people from making nominations (especially members new to the book club). So then I thought maybe see if a couple of other people would like to volunteer to lead? Or maybe for each book, we ask for a volunteer, someone who wants to read the book, and think they will be able to read it by the typical discussion dates?
I don't want one person to feel like they 'need' to read every book. In fact, I don't want anyone to ever feel like they 'need' to read any of the books (unless maybe they nominated them
). The whole point is to read books we enjoy and then chat about them. Ideally, we would have enough people participating that any single readers absence wouldn't impact the discussions. Rotating Volunteers to Lead Discussions
Maybe we let the nominator get precedence if they have interest in leading, and if not, open it to others. My concern with this one is that we won't get volunteers. My next couple of options offer some incentive (I hope), to possibly encourage many members to rotate through and lead discussions.Rotate Member to Set Theme
So ... Another idea I have is that now that our group is smaller than it has been, maybe we can have rotate through who sets the theme each month (maybe this person is also in charge of leading discussions for their month). I think this person should be able to easier say "Yes, this is what I had in mind, it completely fits the theme", or if something does not"You know, when I chose this, I meant XYZ, sorry it wasn't more clear." It's not often a nomination doesn't fit the theme, so this won't be an issue the vast majority of the time.Rotate Member to Make Nominations
In a similar vane, maybe we rotate through interested members, and 1 person picks what will be on the poll (and then leads the discussions?) This option will allow any interested (and active) member of the book club to be ensured at least one of our selections is a book already on their TBR. It could be interesting to see what different members put up for the vote.
or maybe we do a hybrid where we rotate through members and they can choose to either set a theme, or set the books on the poll without nominationsRead Alongs
Another idea is that instead of having organized monthly reads, maybe we just convert to all Read Alongs?
So, there's a some of my random ideas. For the options of rotating through members, we would let people volunteer for months that work well for them. I know if the club grows, we would have to address how to choose who gets to do this (maybe require participation in X number of book clubs), maybe the users with the most comments get precedence. I'm not sure. But right now, I don't think it will be an issue, and I'd rather worry about how to get more participation than to worry about how to handle levels that we don't have yet.