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What's a good size for a book club?

Created: 10/15/10

Replies: 3

Posted Mar. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

Expert

What's a good size for a book club?

At an initial meeting, when there's likely to be just a handful of you, it may seem silly to worry about the group getting too big - but what if each of you invites a friend, and then they invite friends? Before you know it the group could be too big to be manageable - so you may wish to take a few moments up front to agree what the maximum optimal size for your group is and how new people can join (e.g. can somebody just bring a friend along, or do they have to consult the other group members first before proferring an invitation?)

A very small group is cozy but could fall apart if a couple of members drop out or can't make a meeting. A very large group can work but needs to be run on a more 'formal' basis in order to be sure that the conversation stays on track and everybody gets a chance to contribute.

Six to eight people is probably a good size to start with if you're mostly already friends - as it's a small enough number to fit inside somebody's home or around a table in a cafe, gives everybody a chance to voice their opinions, and if somebody can't make it to a meeting, or drops out altogether, there are still enough people left to form a good discussion.

As a general rule you're likely to see more drop out from a large group than a small (because people in a larger group will tend to feel that it doesn't matter as much if they don't turn up) - so there's something to be said for building a relatively small but cohesive group before expanding, and perhaps capping the total number in the group to about a dozen or so.

How many are in your book club?
What would you say is the 'right' number to aim for?
Does your group have policies on how many members and how new members can join?
* Last updated by: admin on 10/16/2010 @ 2:18 PM *


Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
katheriney

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 4

RE: What's a good size for a book club?

My group has been reading and discussing for over 20 years and we try to keep things between 10 -12. We have meetings over dinner at a members home, so that's once limiting factor for us, but the other is that we have found that with larger groups the discussion tends to divide into several smaller discussions and then we all feel that we missed out on something.

Years ago I was in a group that started with just four people and that worked well also.


Posted Apr. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kristenh

Join Date: 10/22/10

Posts: 10

RE: What's a good size for a book club?

I have never been in a book club but I think that if it is an "online" book club where the discussion happens in forums posted online it could be like 10 or 15 people for the discussion.


Posted Sep. 09, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Laura

Join Date: 04/13/11

Posts: 18

RE: What's a good size for a book club?

We have a total of about 16 people in our book club but some of those are only occassional attendees. We have a core group of about 8 that are always there so each month we have between 8-12 actually attend. That number seems to work really well for us.


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