CONNECT AND READ
Thinking about starting a book club? We can help!
Resources that may be helpful for your book club:
We can make meeting rooms available for your group. To check out all the options, contact us or drop by any of our locations and ask about the different meeting rooms we offer.
You can also click here to reserve a room for your book club right now.
Let us help you pick a title for your group to discuss. Contact our User Services department here for suggestions and ideas (and ask about the NoveList page on our website).
Plan ahead for group consensus and success...
Will you chose a facilitator? If so, how – by vote? What are the facilitator’s responsibilities? Some facilitators just lead the discussion. Other tasks may include insuring that advance planning is done or directing discussion to pause and encourage those who have not had an opportunity to contribute. Should the facilitator be encouraged to tactfully direct discussion away from dominators?
If you have a facilitator, will the position rotate and/or have a limited length of term served?
Do you prefer larger or smaller groups?
Open/Closed: Will you have a maximum membership size? Some feel that group discussion with six to eight is ideal. Yet, having a bit larger “roster” is often needed to consistently see that level of attendance due to schedule conflicts and the unforeseen complications of life in general. Others, find that “the larger the group, the more interesting the gathering becomes.” On the other hand, some find 4-6 more intimate and satisfying. With smaller groups, are first-time visitors welcome, or is advance notice desired? Another approach is to just to let group size become self-determining.
If your group is open to visitors who are looking for a book club to join, you are welcome to have your club listed along with the others in our library district that are currently active. Please visit our Listing of Book Clubs. Contact our Website Manager, Michelle Vigil to get added to list.
Will you always meet at the same time (night, during the day, on weekends)?
Will you meet monthly, bi-monthly, or might this depend on variables such as book size?
Will you have a meeting length target?
Will you take a break for the summer, or over the year-end holidays?
Will you meet at someone's home, in a church, at a restaurant or meeting hall?
Will meeting locations change or rotate? Some find that picking a date/location and sticking with it is important. Or, mix it up: 2nd Thursday of the month, always rotating the home. Others find that hosts should be free to trade dates with each other, but no more. Drawn-out email threads over switching dates are often discouraged: “If someone can’t make it for a given date, so be it.”
Will there be an informal time around food/snacks before or after so that one can come and go early or late and not miss the critical book discussion?
Will the meeting include or focus on pre-arranged discussion questions, and/or a study guide? If so, will responsibility for providing them rotate? Will this be provided prior to the discussion? If so, how far in advance? (One advantage of planned discussion questions is that they can help keep the conversation from so easily going off-topic – a circumstance that can be seen as both embarrassing and humorous.) If questions are used, will they be prioritized in case there isn’t time for all?
Will the formal meeting start or end with unstructured discussion?
(Ask your library for suggestions and/or help in providing books and related films. Your library makes meeting rooms available as well as a theater you could use for book-themed films.)
Who picks each book (individuals, by vote, or…)? (One advantage of voting is that, if it turns out to be a dud, frustration is less common.) On the other hand, some have a rule that the person hosting the group gets to choose the book.
How far in advance will selections be made?
Will you have multiple books selected ahead or just one at a time? How far in advance; 3 months out, or … ?
Do you want to sustain a particular genre emphasis? How theme-centered do you want to be? Should selections be secular, or religious, or should some themes be avoided? Would it help to agree on a specific genre for a season such history, biography, mystery, romance, or something else?
Will you take advantage of library resource suggestions?
Do you select based on your favorites or what has worked well for other book clubs?
Choices can be influenced by unexpected criteria. Some groups try to pick books set in other countries so that they might have food theme options for their potluck – something as treasured as the discussion time.
Will you intentionally pick books that are available in paperback to avoid hardcover/hot title mark-ups? Doing so can also increase the likelihood of titles being more widely available (e.g., from your library).
Occasionally, titles from a past discussions become films. In this case, movie dates become an option with discussion to follow.
Free digital resources exist to help your club in its advance planning for many of the choices above. This can be as simple as creating a Yahoo or Google interactive page. There are apps and web sites available as well (see list at the end of this document).
Keep track of what you’ve been reading to notice patterns. Ask yourselves how diverse you want your selections to be as you look back. Some feel that designed-in diversity makes things more interesting.
Watch your library’s events calendar for advance ideas from author visits they are planning for later in the year. If there is interest among your membership, maybe the author could meet with your group as well.
Over time, people may want to attend simply to enjoy your company. Do you mind people coming when they don't actually bother reading the book? It may help to be up-front about your expectations. There are some who tend to avoid book clubs for this reason. For them, serious discussion, commitment and strong participation are weakened by disengaged bystanders – especially when these people get caught up in passionate discussion, contributing little or even breaking up the flow after having made no investment.
Additional resources and information:
If the title you are thinking of meets these criteria, we will try to get it for you:
· Are there 10 or less members in your book club?
· Can you give us at least eight weeks advance notice?
· Is the title available new in paperback for less than $25?
· Are you the only designated person requesting for your club?
· Has the paperback been released in the last 12 to 24 months?
We have found that we are best able to fulfill requests fitting the above criteria.* However, this may not work for your group's needs. Also consider ebook and digital audio options. We will try to accommodate you if we can. If complications arise, we will be in touch.
Please use the “Notes” field of the request form to indicate the number of people in your book club. This will help us try to match existing demand with your needs. Please also indicate how you wish to receive your request (see below).
How to receive your request
You may wish to
1) have your book club members individually put the title on hold for themselves, or
2) put multiple copies on hold for yourself, or
3) provide us with the library card numbers of your members (using the “Notes” field in the request form) and we will put the title on hold for them (please provide an updated list each time you request a title).
* -- Under these conditions, we typically see new titles added to our catalog within 10 working days after orders are placed.
To request a book:
Please use this form for your suggestion:
1) Log in to your PCCLD account.
To do this, click on the "My Account" tab to the right of center at the top of our home page. You will be asked to login to your account. This includes the need to enter your pin number.
2) In the resulting window, please click on "My Settings" (top right) and select "Suggested Purchases" at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
3) In this window, click on the "Make a Suggestion" link on the right, mid-page.
Be sure to check our online calendar for the latest books/meet dates.
Books Again Book Club
First Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m.
Last Thursday of the month at 1 p.m.
If you love horror novels and coffee, this is the perfect club for you! We meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 7p.m. to discuss the book.
See PW book selections for 2023 here.
Third Thursday of the Month
Last Monday of the Month 7pm