Zero to Three in an Instant SOL#20

I have always been an avid reader following the pattern of giving book recommendations to kids and adults. I had never been part of a book club in my life until 2015 however. I knew some friends that were in a club and tried to hint my way into an invitation with no avail. As I was running with a friend who also reads a lot we decided that we would start our own club so that we could mold it in our image of what we thought it would be. The biggest pet peeve my friend had was the club she was currently in didn’t actually discuss the book at meetings. I recently heard on the Book Riot podcast that book clubs fail because of the mix of people – not the actual practice of reading the book. Everyone can pick a book and plan a date to talk but the physicalness of getting the people together and then continuing that pattern is the issue. The group has to be coherent for it to survive.

So the friend and I started our own group which consisted of 4 teachers total and I non-teacher. Then (of course) I got invited to the group I had been stalking. Then I went to a writers workshop and met a lovely woman who wanted to start an academic group to discuss non mainstream texts and authors.

Be careful what you ask the universe for….it answers.

Each of the groups is distinctly different.

One is a more conservative group who reads mainstream novels that are recommended from the reading lives of the group.

Another is a group of all teachers that look at the selections a little differently. The books are also chosen from group member recommendations. Lists from the Huffington Post, Man Booker award lists, National Book Award, etc are used to determine books to read. The conversation always starts out about the book, morphs to reading in general, and then moves to reading related to teaching.

The last group is the most eccentric and diverse. The food is always a great part of the group dynamic. We have discussed Lydia Davis and one members grad school thesis and the trials and tribulations that go along with that process in addition to award winning books.

These groups leave me feeling rejuvenated and happy. As time moves forward, some of the faces change and the meeting schedules get farther apart. I am sure these will not be the only groups I am ever a part of surrounding books but they all just make me a better reader.

What is your ideal book club like? I would love to hear.

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9 thoughts on “Zero to Three in an Instant SOL#20

  1. Unfortunately, most of my book clubs are online. But they are still great! My favorites are summer book studies with other teachers and Twitter chats around a book. I am also in a group of teachers who read a book, leave sticky notes in it, and mail it to another person in our group. It takes forever, but still fun. I also do book clubs with my students. I am always amazed how reading a book together and talking about them makes their experiences so much better!

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    • I love the idea of the sticky notes and mailing the book to each other!
      After so much reading I NEED to talk about books!
      I have tried Facebook groups before for a professional book club but it didn’t seem to stick…

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  2. I would like a “kid lit” club. And a novel reading group. I definitely want to actually discuss books. Food often brings people together, but with the right people, just the books would be enough, and maybe better for busy people (and those who don’t really need the calories).

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  3. I am very particular about the books I read so I have had some trouble with book clubs. I think I would have liked your book club that chooses from the Man Booker & others. This is how I choose my books.
    Did you ever hear of the ones that each person chooses a book from a list and they talk about the read? I like that idea but there are books that you just need to discuss with someone.
    What are you currently reading?

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  4. I’ve only ever participated in a book club this school year! It was just a group of us teachers reading books that we suggested. As a person who regularly reads over 90 books a year in her free time, I thought it would be super simple to do. The first couple of months went well, but once we hit our three-week winter break it fell apart. Now it is March and there is no mention of a new book. For me, an ideal book club would be a group of friends who had a common interest. I can imagine that my teacher friends would make a cool book club, but it would need to be online because we are working all over the world.

    -Amanda at https://teachingwanderlust.com

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  5. I have never belonged to a book club. I admit that my reading tends toward mystery/horror so I would have a difficult time branching out although it would make a more well rounded reader.

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  6. I started my first book club more than thirty years ago. Then when we moved to the NW, I started another book club. I don’t always get to read exactly what I want (many members in our club love NF), but I do get exposed to many different books. We’re celebrating our twentieth year together and still have around ten original members, plus lots of members who have moved, but still stay in touch with our club and request the book list each year.

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  7. How fun! I have always wanted to be in a book club. I even attempted to start one online with some friends. It fizzled pretty fast. The closest thing I’ve got is a book study with a coworker during the summers. I’m hoping to expand it to include the whole department this summer.

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