Like so many other things — investing in a timeshare, having a third child — starting a book club seemed like a good idea at first, but things have taken a turn.
Suddenly, instead of preparing for meetings, your club members prepare excuses for why they can’t come this month. Or next month.
Is your club beyond saving?
According to Molly Lundquist, a former college English instructor and founder of LitLovers, a site devoted to reading and book clubs, the best way to revive a foundering club is to break out of your same-old, same-old rut and try something new, such as:
- Hold a Free-Form Meeting. Instead of assigning a book to read, ask members to come with whatever they’re reading. During the evening, invite everyone to talk a little about what s/he is reading at the moment. See where the conversation takes you.
- Host a Film Night. Of course the book is better than the movie, but so what? For fun, pick a film based on a book most (if not all) of you have read, and watch it together. Afterward, chat about how it compared to the book.
- Go on a Field Trip. Is an interesting author coming to town for a reading or book-signing? Attend the event as a group! By doing something literary together, you’ll be reminded of why you joined a book club in the first place — for the camaraderie.
- Cook the Books. Have a
potluck dinner where each member brings a dish inspired by a particular story.
True, the gruel from Oliver Twist may
not be a hit, but a few decadent chutneys a la Midnight’s Children (or vodka honoring The Master and Margarita) will be.
However you decide to resurrect your book club, says Lundquist, the key is to mix things up a little. Clubs tend to die when they get boring — so don’t give yours a chance to!
LitLovers offers a treasure trove of information covering every aspect of book clubs, from getting started to choosing the perfect title to read next. Log on to find terrific ideas for your club.