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Discuss General Discussion about Book Clubs:
Setting group guidelines

Created: 10/16/10

Replies: 2

Posted Mar. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 359

Setting group guidelines

When you're starting up a book club, or joining one, it's easy to assume that everyone in the group is on the same page as you with regard to what you want from the group but that's very unlikely to be the case - so it's important to make sure you discuss things up front.

For example: Can a member come to a meeting if they haven't read the book? What's the policy on skipping meetings?

What sort of guidelines/expectations does your group have, and would you recommend them to other groups?

Posted Sep. 08, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 40

RE: Setting group guidelines

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.

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2082

RE: Setting group guidelines

What an excellent and succinct list. Thank you Kathryn!

We've got a page of suggestions of things you should plan to discuss and agree at the first meeting (or at anytime if you need to revisit your group's guidelines down the line) at


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