When I started our book group (BOOKIES) I wanted the group to set the guidelines themselves. It was very interesting that the first one suggested was, NO food! Everyone agreed heartily! What a relief that was!
From there things, got a little more serious -- and the following are the guidelines we established:
- No food
- 90 minute meeting
- once a month
- books selected by group
- mostly fiction, 2 non fiction, and one "classic" selection a year
- agree to disagree without being disagreeable
- only one person speaking at a time
- what is said in the group stays within group
- if you can't stand the book don't read it but don't complain about it!
- select titles only in paperback - allow leader to veto a suggest books (in ten years have only done twice).
Setting guidelines make the group the participants group! It also has helped in hindering problems as if an issue comes up that is disrupting it usually is covered by the guidelines and someone will gently remind the group. We have 8 or the original 12 still coming after 11 years!! Ou attendance ranges from 12 - 14.