Rules For Meetings

Rules for Meetings - An Important consideration when starting your book club.

Having a night out with the girls is always good fun and book club should be no exception. It's a night we all certainly look forward to. But to make it successful and always a pleasurable experience you do need a few ground rules.

The reality is, that if you don't keep to a few simple rules, you'll find your numbers start to dwindle and before you know it, there will be no book club.

Here are a few ideas and considerations for rules for meetings:

1) You Really Should Read The Book 

You'll sometimes find members of our group reading the last few pages in the car outside the host's house, just so they can meaningfully contribute to the meeting!

How strict you want to be on this rule depends on your group. We are pretty cool with people coming if they have at least started it! They still have valuable comments to make, or tend to over compensate by doing more research on the author/topics involved prior to the meeting to make up for their lack of reading!

New comers to the group are also most welcome without reading the book, to see whether they fancy joining, without the pressure of feeling like they have to contribute to the discussion.

2) It's A No To The Entire Works Of Dickens, Shakespeare Or Anything Else Too High Brow!

We all know that being part of a book club gives you more stature amongst your friends! It's slightly more worthy than a night out drinking and makes you seem just that bit more intelligent!!

But that really is no need to get carried away! As soon as someone suggests your group should try and read the entire works of Shakespeare, then you know it's time to say NO!

Before too long your entire book club will just stop coming. Reading the books will become a chore and, quite frankly, a total bore!

3) How Thick Is That Book?

This question used to be fairly easy to answer, but now with the delights of kindle, it is sometimes hard to work out how many pages there are in your chosen book.

We all live busy lives and trying to get through a very long novel is just not achievable for people who work or have kids to look after. Perfect for you retired types though!

We try to keep our choices to books with less than 400 pages - granted you need to take into account the font size too, but overall this seems to work for us.

Occasionally we break the rule and either regret it, when no-one turns up to the meeting, or give everyone a bit longer to read it. So when it comes to rules for meetings, this is an important one.

4) Over Opinionated Or Limelight Hogging Individuals Need Not Apply!

Choose your group carefully. There's nothing worse that someone who likes the sound of their own voice and won't let anyone else get a word in.

If you have one in the group then you need to find a way of controlling them, otherwise you put the entire book group at risk.

"SHUT UP" tends to work!

5) Bring A Bottle!

Whilst we still want a civilised and coherent conversation, there is nothing like a couple of glasses of wine to loosen the tongue. In our experience, it makes for a better, more fun and interesting discussion.

After all, you want to create a relaxed environment so people feel  they can contribute to the discussion.

6) Listen

Fight the urge to interupt someone and actually listen to what they have to say. (Unless it's the annoying opinionated loud mouth again)

It may actually spark an idea or thought to enhance the discussion.

7) Less Talk About Your Current Crisis And More Talk About The Book

This is really important. Whilst there has to be time to catch up with your friends, the focus for the evening has to be on the book.

Out of all the rules for meetings, this is probably the most important.

If you don't stick to this rule, your book club will turn into a boozy girls night in of gossiping and swapping stories about your job, kids and husbands (again)

8) Not Too Late - It's Still A Week Night

Think about the start and end times of your meetings. Give people enough time to get home/get the kids in bed - We start at 7.30pm (7.45 by the time everyone is there.)

It's usually a week night when we meet so we try to have everyone tucked up in bed by 11.15pm - We don't want anyone turning into a pumpkin.

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