Reader Response

We talk quite a bit on this blog about books and tips for existing book groups. Today I’m going to offer something for the potential book group facilitator.

Take a survey of your potential readership. Fold them up and put them in the books on your holds shelf. Particularly the books that would make good titles for discussion.

Ask potential book group members questions that include suggested titles for discussion groups and topics readers might like to address in group reading. Get a little personal by asking what kinds of books the reader enjoys and what book is currently on the nighttable.

Of course, ask all those pesky scheduling questions which will only give you fits, but need to be asked nonetheless. Days and times that best fit a reader’s schedule.

I like to ask about seating arrangements, too. Left to my own wretched event planning devices, I’d have everyone seated in a circle balancing a cup of coffee, a plate of cookies, the current book under scrutiny and note-taking tools. Once a co-worker, clearly a graduate of the Martha Stewart School of Entertaining Arts, pointed out that participants might like a place to put all their “stuff” during discussions, our room become more cozy and efficient.

No reason why you can’t shake up your current book group by taking their temperature in regards to the above, either.  But for those of you wondering where to begin, here’s a jumping off place.

My next book group will be reading: Anything by Jane Austen.

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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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