Day 11 – Keeping Up The Community
I love the network of friendship that grows through a book club. I invite my friends, and then they invite a sister, cousin, co-worker, neighbor or friend. Our club has slowly grown in this manner and to keep up this community in between book club nights here are my tricks:
- a blog
- a Facebook group
- goodreads.com (a favorite of mine!)
- evites or email reminders
- snail-mail or postcard reminders
None of these are new ideas but our club uses them all. (Well, except for the last one, I haven’t mailed members anything besides that very first letter.)
Here’s how we use these method’s specifically. As always, there isn’t a “right” way, just find what works for you and your club.
Our blog is not fancy. It’s just where we keep a record of our memories, books, and all the fun stuff. For awhile we were blogging four times (once a week or so) about each book: an introduction post, one on the author, one on discussion question ideas (the week of club) and then a recap the following week. Lately, we’ve backed off and have slimmed down to just and intro and recap post. Essentially, we want members to come in persons to club night so we’ve not done detailed reviews on the books, or ramped up the blog more. For us it’s just a place where members can count on to always find all the facts about upcoming books and meetings.
As you can imagine, the Facebook group sees a little more action. But not all members are on Facebook so it’s not where we keep all the facts and details posted. We’ll chat about how we’re enjoying the book or discuss upcoming event plans, things like that.
Twitter: again, not all members are on twitter so we use this (and instgram) much like Facebook. We can keep up with the day to day of members and continue to grow our relationships without being face to face very often.
Goodreads is social media for bookworms. I’ve mentioned this before if you want to read more. Many of our members are on goodreads. We can see the books we’re all reading, what’s on our to-read list, how we’ve rated books and so much more. It’s a social site not to be skipped over by book lovers.
We use an evite (an online invitation) each month because all of our members do have email and they can stay up to date on everything book club related. It works for us because we don’t have a strict membership it helps us know who’s going to be able to make it to the meeting and how many to prepare for.
On a separate, but some-what related note, Keep A Record. Our record keeping happens on our blog and on a simple spreadsheet. I keep a list of the month and year, the book, the author, and the genre. It’s fun to see where we’ve been and useful for when we plan the upcoming books. Your record keeping could be as simple as a notebook or binder. You could also get much more detailed and record how members received the book, your book review of it, and much more.