Tips for effective meetings - Some useful tips to consider for starting a book club
What a beautiful meal in this picture! You'll find a few tips and pieces of advice here for effective book club meetings and the first is the most important:
1) Takeaway Meals Only
Don't follow in our footsteps by getting your host to agree to cook for book club. What starts out as a simple spaghetti bolognaise, suddenly turns into a 5 course gourmet dinner - with each host trying to out do the last one.
Seriously, I had no idea we had so many talented chefs in our group. The pressure to cook an amazing meal started to take over from the discussion of the book.
So, we put a stop to it. We now arrive at the hosts house to be greeted with a small plate of nibbles. The takeaway menus are produced and we collectively choose what we shall eat that night and then split the bill. Far simpler and far less stressful.
2) Set The Dates For Your Book Club In Advance
It's hard to accommodate about 8 peoples diaries and there will always be someone who can't make it - That's just life.
Agree a day that suits most people - Tuesdays? and then book the dates in everyone's diary for the rest of the year.
We meet every 6 weeks. We tried every 4 weeks but with everyone's hectic lifes, we just weren't able to get through the books.
Agree what the minimum number of book clubbers needs to be to have a meeting - we usually say 4. If you can't get 4 people then cancel the meeting and try to reschedule. Otherwise, the dates are NON NEGOTIABLE and need to be stuck to.
Otherwise you'll find yourself in a spiraling haze of emails as you all try to find more dates - you're all too busy for such time wasting pursuits!
Tips for effective meetings - Use an online quick survey to pick your new date. It stops the email anxst and is very quick to set up. We use www.doodle.com. Just put in your potential dates and then send them a link to the page, to get everyone to tick yes or no if they can attend.
3) Be Flexible When You Choose Your Books
Some of us are planners and others tend to do things a bit last minute. We have both types in our group.
The planners need to know what books are coming next and would love to have a list for the entire year.
The last minuter couldn't think of anything worse than having everything planned out for the whole year - where's the spontaneity in that.
Our solution is to agree the first 3 books of the year. Then at each meeting we add a new book to the list.
It means that if a new and exciting book comes on the market, you can add it to the list, rather than feeling like you have to stick to a stipulated list of books.
4) Keep It Simple
This is an enjoyable night out and needs to be something that people look forward to. Don't ignore the basics and take head of these tips for effective meetings.
So, keep it simple. Focus on the book. Stick to the basic rules and don't allow it to become an administrative nightmare.
We don't take any note due to point 4. But if you plan to have an annual awards ceremony ( best books award )(and I strongly suggest that you do!) then you may want to keep some basic notes of what you liked about the book or perhaps a simple score out of 10, that you can all agree on at the end of the night.
Tips For Effective Meetings for Book ClubsFab Book Club Recommendations
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Try The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared