I have debated about this for awhile, but have come to the decision to "step down" from officially running the book club. I have put a lot of time and effort into it over the years and really appreciate the time and conversations I have had with everyone here. For me the book club was always supposed to be about camaraderie and conversations, sharing our experiences with books as we read them together (or revisit them for those that have already read them). I have enjoyed it tremendously and am grateful for everyone that has taken part.
I know I don't do as much as I used to, and I tend to feel bad about that, maybe it would do better if I put more work into it. Because of this, I decided I need to either "step up" or "step down" and decided to step down and see if the book club can sustain itself.
Honestly, what I think would work best is a rotation of people "leading" the discussions. This way the responsibility to read and initiate conversations does not always fall on the same person every month. I hate to admit it, but with the lower participation the book club started to feel less like a great experience chatting about books and more like work. I don't want anyone else to fall into that, I think the extra pressure of trying to get others excited and chatting, and then not always having it happen was just a bit demotivating.
By stepping down, I feel like I can still participate when I am interested and able and actually enjoy the book club more rather than feeling guilty when it does not do well. I also feel like having other people cycle through could maybe revive it a bit. But this will only work if other members are willing to take it up.
For book club to continue, it will be up to the members to select books and organize discussions. The format could change, maybe people would prefer splitting the discussions in a different way. Maybe there are ideas out there for different ways to approach this. Maybe it will move to just the Read Along format with impromptu groups picking books they are interested in. This change could actually lead to more opportunities because it could annihilate our existing criteria. Published only in the UK? OK, its still game. Want to read an entire series back to back (like Malazan)? Go for it! Two different groups of people want to read different books? Nothing is stopping you, run them both at once!
I don't want book club to go away, but I do think a change is necessary for it to be successful. For me, right now, I think my stepping down can give opportunity for that change.
If you made it to the bottom of this, thanks for taking the time to read my message
And hopefully we can find a way to have book club continue. Either way, Happy Reading!