By September 13, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Bringing back the Buzz, Pt. 8

The series of posts with ideas for perking up your group continues:


A fun alternative to heavy adult reading is a meeting devoted to children’s books. I recommend picking books from a particular age range: picture books, early chapter books, or young adult works, for instance. You might also want to specify whether you will focus on classic works or new books. In any case, the meeting will be full of nostalgic fun and the books will be entertaining to pass around. I recommend this activity for a meeting shortly before Christmas, as readers will come away with a list of titles to try sharing with the kids in their lives.


It takes some planning, and you’ll want to be clear about what you expect from your guest, but it can be rewarding to bring an author to the group to talk and participate in the discussion. In most areas, you should be able to find a local author or two who like talking about their works or process. If not, new technologies like Skype may still make a virtual visit possible. New authors who haven’t yet broken out to wide popularity are often particularly willing to work with book groups in this way.


A good idea for groups in which members know each other well is to try a round of personal recommendations. Write everyone’s names on slips of paper and then draw names blindly. At the end of the next meeting, ask each member to very briefly recommend two or three books that would be a good fit for the selected reader. The reader should select one of the titles and report back on it at the meeting after that. This can also work for new groups as an icebreaker/mixer if you add time for a short advance  interview between each recommender/reader pair.

Pt. 7 can be read here, and through it, all of the previous posts in this series.



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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