Day 3 – Define Your Group
Determine your goals.
To get your group off the ground you’ll need to think about your goals. How serious & academic or relaxed & social (or a mix in the middle) do you want it to be? Do you want to create a community to encourage reading? have serious discussions? learn new things? Will your club have a theme, like new releases or cookbooks? What is your short or long term vision for your group?
We fall somewhere in the middle. Our books are often a little more intense (academic) but we don’t get too heated when we disagree or just plain didn’t like the book. But we also try to keep things relaxed and make it each book club night one you can count on to be a fun night out.
Write a Purpose Statement.
Our Purpose Statement is :: Discussing great literature from a Christian world view with the purpose of broadening our horizons.
Your statement should flow from your goals and vision you have for your club. For us: “ Discussing great literature” – We like the classics, but don’t read them exclusively. “ from a Christian world view” - many of us are Christians, any and all are welcome. We will occasionally read a book by a Christian author, but we will discuss them often from our Christian perspective. “ with the purpose of broadening our horizons.” – We like to read things that make us stretch. We mix up our genres, time periods and types of books each month. No, we don’t always end up liking our choices, but it’s good brain exercise to read a variety.
Your club’s purpose statement might change as time goes on, and that’s ok. Maybe each year you want to vary things a little bit and read a new genre for 12 months. Maybe you and your friends have young families now and free time is short. Your club might be Young Adult books or ones available as audiobooks, but as years go one you might want to switch it up.
Select a core group.
Your core group might just be the 2 or 3 friends that want to help start your book club. It’s nice to talk out ideas and select books together. If you are solo in wanting to start a club ask around. You never know who might want to be party of a club from your church, the YMCA or gym or your kids preschool. Ask around, see who’s hungry for a good story and discussion.
Our group has a core of three members. We come together a few times a year to make final decisions on which books we’ll read. Plan also the special events and outings and any other little details that come up.
It’s possible you’re club doesn’t need a core. While our group doesn’t have any membership/attendance rules we do have a good handful or regulars but many that pop in a few times a year when they can. Without a consistent group each month it would be difficult to run without a core.
Action Steps ::
Determine your goals.
Write a purpose statement.
Select a core.