I love my book groups. I’m proud to count myself a member of three – two face to face groups, and one online. I love the interaction with other readers, and I love the book choices that are often out of my comfort zone. Choosing books in a book group is also a fun part of the book group experience, and each of my book groups makes their picks differently.
My online group votes via Facebook poll for a book. The leader of the group selects the genre, and members of the group submit choices or vote on a book that another member suggested. It’s a very democratic and fun way to pick books. The only drawback to this method is that I find myself adding all the books in the poll to my reading list, not just the one chosen for the group read.
My Awesome Book Club is very lucky to have an Awesome Maven. Our Maven maintains a rotating list, letting each of the members know when it is their month to choose a book for the group. She does a terrific job keeping us straight, even when members swap months or change their minds about their book choice. This is also a very democratic method, and every member has a voice in the choices of the group. For the past few years, another member has created a lovely bookmark that lists all the books we read throughout the year. It’s a useful and creative souvenir of our year in books.
My PTA Refugees also uses the one member = one book approach, but the methodology is different. Each year, our December meeting is the designated annual book exchange. Each group member chooses, and purchases, a book they would like the group to read. We wrap our books in the most tantalizing way we can, hoping to entice another member. Some members adorn their wrapped books with little gifts for the receiver.
Then we sit down with the wrapped books, and the evening’s host makes the first pick. Whoever wrapped the book that was chosen is the next person to pick, and so on, until all the books are unwrapped. We read the books in order through the year.
In 2014, The PTA Refugees will be reading: