Boosting Book Clubs in Berwyn

During a recent visit to the Berwyn (IL) Public Library, I paused to look at the staff’s current display of favorite book discussion titles and picked up a handy-dandy list of the library’s favorite book discussion resources. 

In addition to noting Book Group Buzz as a helpful choice, the list encourages prospective book discussion participants to check out LitLovers, which is described as being like “Facebook for book clubs — an online community for people in book discussion groups.”  You’ll find lists of popular titles, reviews, questions, tips and tricks, and a blog on this site.

The list also highlights Book Browse: Your Guide to Exceptional Books, a superb resource for tips on planning and running a book discussion group.  Random House is credited as the first major publisher to take book clubs seriously, and they devote an entire site (Random House’s Book Club Center) to information about their book club friendly titles.

Another favorite is Reading Group Choices, a popular website that offers informative and interactive material of interest to book clubs.  This company produces a printed guide annually, as well.  Most Book Group Buzz readers have probably already discovered ReadingGroupGuides.Com: The Online Community for Reading GroupsIn case you haven’t, it’s definitely worth checking out.  The folks at Berwyn Public call it “a treasure trove of information,” and they are exactly right — it offers lists of book club favorites, complete with plot summaries, discussion questions, author biographies and interviews.

And something else you should definitely not miss — the lively blog by Berwyn readers advisor and book discussion leader Becky Spratford, RA for AllBesides being fun to read, it’s highly informative, since Becky frequently posts items about book discussion related issues as well as a monthly report on what her own group is reading and discussing. 

The library also has prepared book discussion kits, with each kit including six to twelve copies of a book previously discussed at the library.  The kits come with book leader resources and discussion questions, so borrowers will be all set for their own book discussion sessions.

What a great way to energize book club meetings!  Bravo to Becky and the Berwyn Public staff!  I just couldn’t resist passing this along.



About the Author:

Ted Balcom lives in Arlington Heights, IL and conducts workshops on leading book discussions, about which he has also published a book: Book Discussions for Adults: A Leader’s Guide (American Library Association, 1992).

2 Comments on "Boosting Book Clubs in Berwyn"

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  1.' Becky says:

    Thanks Ted. We really love our book clubs here at Berwyn. We are also in the pipeline to be featured in the Tribune in the coming months.

    For the record, I want to give Ted credit for teaching me how to lead a club. He set a great example for me to follow.

  2.' joyce smith says:


    I’m interested in joining a book club…can you give me suggestions on how to begin my search in finding one that I might be interested in? I live in Berwyn.

    Thanks so much, Joyce

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