You say you want a Resolution?

So I’m a couple days late with the resolution thing. I’m resolving to be more timely in the new year. Do not hold your breath.

But enough about my charming personal failings. How about a little  guideline or two to improve conversation at a discussion group? I’ll only offer four. That’s a number most of us can live with.

1. Point out the positive aspects of a book before getting into the criticism (which is ever so much more fun, I know, but still).  Articulating what an author is doing well in a book will actually give readers pause when they begin to critique those parts of a title where they felt the author was less successful.

2. Make efforts to steer conversation away from recaps, summations and descriptions of plot and character. Everyone who has read the book is already up to speed. Construct one meaty question readers can sink their teeth  into and let them start analyzing, evaluating and contemplating.

3. Got a comment? Share it with the group. No matter how insignificant you think your contribution is, if you only share it with your neighbor, someone across the room will feel left out or wonder if you are making comments about their mismatched socks.

4. This is a tough one. In the midst of a spirited discussion, it’s easy to start interrupting and stepping on the comments of others. (I am guilty of this. I resolve to do better.) Listen to all comments carefully. You never know when someone might be saving you breath.

My next book group will be reading: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote



About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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