I've offered to host a single event for a meetup group that is generally about socializing and meeting new women in the Kansai area and I've agreed to do a book club style meeting. Essentially, we're doing a one-time book group meeting. If things go well, I'd like to try to do it again in the future, but given my travel schedule I'm not entirely possible when or how that would work. Still, I'm having so much fun planning for this one, that I'm seriously thinking it might be time to start my own group in Seattle as well.
In that vein, I'm really looking for suggestions about how to run a successful group. I've seen some tips from "professionals" but what I'm more interested in is how a particular group works and if the members are generally happy with the dynamic? For example, do your book group members all get to vote on a title that they'd like to read? Is that democratic approach working for your group or does it stymie things? Also, are there differing expectations about how much time the group will spend on socializing and chit chat vs. book discussion? I suppose you could try to make that clear with your group during the initial meeting, but is there an ebb and flow to membership that is to be expected during the first few months as people work out whether or not the group is a good fit for them?
I'm dying to get back to some book chat with real people and the local public libraries in Seattle have monthly book groups, but I wonder if that approach, or even advertising through say, meetup.com leads to a really transient group of readers. And maybe that's not a bad thing (I'm making an assumption here that a more regular group of readers makes people more comfortable with engaging in dialogue with one another).
Please feel free to share your experiences! I'd love to hear if you were part of a terrible book group and what made it terrible. Likewise, I'd love to hear about successful groups! Any thoughts are appreciated!
Cross-posted on: Everything's Better With Books