Your Club in Lights: the Reading Divas of the DMV
- April 21, 2014
A look at an interesting book club and how they do what they do.
Your club’s name: The Reading Divas of the DMV.
Location: Bowie, MD.
How long you’ve been around: Our first meeting was held in August 1998.
How many members: 16 currently.
Book you’re currently reading: Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young.
Book you last read: Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan.
Book that’s up next: Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai.
Since your inception, the book that has generated the strongest (good, bad, or otherwise) reaction: That’s a very hard question to answer because there have been so many — but I would say, recently, the book we were most impressed with was Perfect Peace by Daniel Black.
The secret to your club’s success: As the club founder, I [Sharon Lucas] would have to say tenacity and compromise. I made up my mind early on that we would meet regularly — in other words, meetings would only be canceled for true emergencies and not whim, because it’s important that the members agree that regular attendance is the backbone of the club. Over the years, as members have come and gone, I saw there was a need for structure, and so I developed by-laws — such as mandatory regular attendance and payment of dues to support club activities — that we share with prospective members in advance so everyone knows what is expected. And last by not least, leaders must not be afraid to lead — to set standards and expect the members to follow their lead by being prepared when it’s their turn to host the meeting and by being courteous to other members during the book discussion.
What has also added to our success is that, in 2008, we celebrated our 10th anniversary by hosting a Literary Brunch, which we have continued to host annually and which has grown into the Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend, a two-day literary conference where authors and readers can interact face-to-face and have a great time!
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