A thriving book club is dependent to a large extent on the a course in miracles chosen for the members to read. Many groups which pick the wrong books quickly find that their members lose interest and the numbers in their club start to fall away. It can however be very difficult to find appropriate book club suggestions.
One of the big problems in choosing book club books is that a group with many members will have very wide literary tastes and a wide range of personalities. Also, many of the members might be very well read which means that it may be hard to select books that they have not already read.
Some book clubs get around this problem by focusing on one very specific genre or theme and choosing only books that fit these criteria. However, the majority of book clubs are general clubs and therefore are faced with choosing the most appropriate titles from the millions of books that are available.
One way to begin to whittle down the selection is to eliminate all books that are of the wrong length. Book clubs that meet regularly should not choose overly long books as the demands of reading them between meetings may be too much for members with busy lives.
Another good idea is to not choose new release books that are only available in hardback. Waiting for a paperback edition means that the book will be cheaper for members to buy and they are less likely to be annoyed at the cost if they don’t like the book chosen.
The choice of book should also be geared towards the interests of members. If members prefer titles that are more populist the selections should reflect this. Similarly, if the members are more interested in literary fiction these types of books should be chosen.
Although the books should be chosen to reflect the tastes of the readers it is also a good idea to choose books that will not be universally liked. In order to create a lively discussion it is better that there are a variety of opinions on a book so that lively debate can be created. Not only does this make the club more interesting it will also introduce members to types of books that they have not read before.
Many book clubs choose books by allowing each member to take a turn at selecting the clubs books. The only possible downside to this is that it can cause disputes between members when they dislike someone’s suggestions and many members find it very stressful to choose a book for others to read that may be heavily criticised.
In general it is preferable that all members should be involved in choosing the books. This way no one individual becomes the focus point for complaints if the books selected are not enjoyed by the members. Often it can be helpful for all of the members of the group to put together a shortlist of the books that they would like to read. These shortlists can then be amalgamated to make a comprehensive suggestion list that members can choose from together.