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Book club is a dream come true

By Kristen Tribe | Published Thursday, September 30, 2010

My friends and I started numerous clubs when we were in elementary school. Although informal, such an entity apparently made the friendship between 8-year-olds more legitimate.

There was usually a rainbow theme, haunted house initiations and of course, notepads and pens for everyone.

But once it was organized, the club usually floundered. There was no other business to address.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be a founding member of a book club.

This was my dream come true.

Not only have I enjoyed the camaraderie of a “club,” but it’s also centered around one of my favorite things – books.

When we first started meeting, I was a stay-at-home mom.

Admittedly, I was looking forward to the adult conversation as much as the book discussions.

It also gave me a good excuse to read something besides toddler board books.

Many of us were already friends so before talking books, we compared notes on kids, school, work and day-to-day life.

We meet once a month, and it’s become a mini-retreat for me, an escape from the to-do list and a fun time with friends. Over the last year or so I’ve had to miss a few meetings as my family has gotten busier, but I’ve come to treasure book club even more because of that.

Since it was first started, the group has grown in numbers, changed locations and evolved in general, as needed.

It’s become an avenue for me to make new friends and helped me get to better know those already in my circle.

And despite our husbands’ suspicions, we really do talk about books.

Anyone can start a book club. You just have to make a few basic decisions to get going.

1. Who will be in the club?

2. When and where will you meet?

3. What types of books will you read?

Some clubs are specific to mysteries or Christian fiction, for example. Our club reads all types of books, and we’re casual in our proceedings.

One member usually leads the discussion, but even if you haven’t read the book, you’re still welcome. Some clubs have strict rules about attendance, and if you didn’t do the required reading, you can’t come.

These issues will be ironed out easily once you form a group, depending on the members’ personalities and goals for the club.

In the meantime, check out my blog, Shelf Space, for tips on how to form a book club. It’s on the Messenger’s website at www.wcmessenger.com/blogs/shelfspace.

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