All about Book Clubs!

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on March 8, 2017.

When it comes to reading, it’s very easy to only pick up books that we know we’ll love and leave behind the ones we are unsure of. I myself am 100% guilty of this and have been for many years. It would take countless recommendations or the book would have to be a bestseller before […]

When it comes to reading, it’s very easy to only pick up books that we know we’ll love and leave behind the ones we are unsure of. I myself am 100% guilty of this and have been for many years. It would take countless recommendations or the book would have to be a bestseller before I even considered taking it out of the library.

That was all stopped recently when I joined a book club that a few of my friends had set up. They had set it up with the idea that it would encourage us all to read something new and get us out of our reading rut. A few of the members were never keen readers and joined with the hope that it would be the start of a new hobby for them.

So far we have read three books, two of which I loved and the other I would happily see burning in my fireplace. A sin in many peoples view, including my own but I hated the book that much. I won’t say what book it was; I don’t want to obscure anyone else’s view of it before they may read it. I will say though, I have read many other books from this genre so it wasn’t my preconceptions about it that put me off it. It was just a badly written book, in my opinion.

Aside from the fact that I have to sacrifice some precious Outlander reading time to read my book club title, it has been a great few months. The other two titles I would never have read and I loved them. One I couldn’t put down. It’s kind of ironic that the book that I normally would have loved was the one I hated and the ones I never would have read were the ones I loved.

The meetings are always very interesting. It’s a great way of learning more about the book, as others may have picked up on pieces of the story that you did not. I always leave the meetings thinking more about the story than I did beforehand. They are also a great way to vent, if the book wasn’t to your liking. My poor husband no longer has to suffer my ranting about a fictional character he has no clue of.

If you think that you would like to join a book club, then pop into your local library and ask one of the staff there to help you. There are many book clubs in some of the branches, so you have your pick of clubs. And you will be able to pick one that suits your interests best.  If you find there isn’t one in the library or none of them suit, then you could set one up. And if you have any children at home who love to read many of our branches have clubs for them as well.

When considering joining a book club you should factor in that not all the books that are selected will be enjoyable for you, generally you must read at least the majority of the book. Also consider the books that the club read and if your interests reflect theirs. By doing this, it will make the experience a lot more enjoyable than reading books you hate or sitting through a meeting where you are bored to tears.

If you plan on setting up a club for yourself or for children in the area then here are a few pointers that’ll help you through the process;

  1. Let people know that you are setting up a club – advertise it within the library and local newspaper.
  2. Select a suitable venue for your club, your local library usually have a facility suitable for this purpose.
  3. When you have your members, decide on a few simple rules – book selection process, the book club format, who will chair the meetings, how often you want to meet up etc.
  4. What sort of books you plan on reading – genre/age/fiction/non-fiction
  5. The do’s and don’ts of selecting a book – don’t select one that will take longer than the given time to read/book availability
  6. Decide what you want covered within the discussion of the books – pick some questions that should be asked at every meeting, this will encourage conversation and debate.

Hopefully these pointers will help make the process a lot easier.

Whichever path you choose to take the staff in your library will happily help with any queries you have.

Best of luck and happy reading!

By Claire Fay, Garristown Library