Bringing back the Buzz, Pt. 6

It’s time for part six of my big list of ways to bring some variety to a book group that’s become too mundane.


How about combining some service with a book group meeting? There are several ways you might provide useful help. See if a local childrens’ hospital or retirement home has residents who would appreciate a session of reading aloud or one-time involvement in a book discussion held on their site. Read a book about a charitable activity or area of need, then as a background experience, donate an hour of time to a related charity. Donate or collect books for a school, hospital, home, or prison. Check with your local library, which might need volunteers for a one-time project or on an ongoing basis.


Have any of your readers tried the modern version of graphic fiction or nonfiction? There was a time when “comic books” had a limited range, but that day is long past, and now a great variety of titles are available in illustrated editions. Make sure your readers bring the books with them and pass them around the group, as experienced the different artistic styles is most of the fun. This makes for a colorful evening with a type of literature that has become surprisingly deep.


This is easy to do if you divide the labor. Ask each reader to bring 10 index cards to the meeting with a question about the book, author, or setting on one side and the answer on the other. Before, during, or interspersed with the discussion, take turns reading your questions aloud, with the first reader or team to give the answer winning the card. At the end of the meeting, the player or team with the most cards takes home bragging rights, a designated prize, or the right to pick an upcoming title for discussion.

Read the rest of this series: Pt. 1,  2,  34,  5



About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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