Attending book club meetings used to be one of my favorite things to do, but with the advent of e-books discussions are now often conducted online by members of groups that are, at times, far-flung. Recently, though, a group in Wisconsin contacted me and asked me to participate in their meeting. They asked:
1)Do you have something you could send to us? Bookmarks?
2)Do you have discussion guidelines for Hostile Witness?
I did not have discussion guidelines for any of my books*. I also did not have bookmarks since most of my readers were choosing digital files. But the request was so cool that immediately wrote discussion questions and sent them along with a Hostile Witness Book Club Box: three jars of sand from Hermosa Beach (the location of all the witness books), candles to put in the sand, and tiny plastic mermaids that are always attached to drinks at the legendary Mermaid Restaurant where Josie Bates met with Linda Rayburn.
Not only did the Wisconsin group inspire me to think about my books in a new light, they got me to thinking about why I liked book clubs so much. Here are the top reasons why Iâ€™m sending out big hugs to book clubs:
1)Members not only think about what they want to read but what they have read.
2)Members are curious. They want to know why a book was written, what inspired the and book, and who wrote it.
3)Members are articulate. They explain in detail why they did or did not like a book and even reference specific words and passages.
4)Members are considerate. They listen to visiting authors and one another. Sometimes they even raise their hands before they talk.
5)Members donâ€™t judge a book by its cover. They may not like a cover, but they donâ€™t judge until they read whatâ€™s inside.
6)Members are reliable. They read the monthâ€™s book and show up on time. Okay, sometimes they donâ€™t read the whole book, but they always show up on time.
7)Members abide by rules. They made the rules themselves so that means they can happily live with them.
8)Members always feed me. Enough said on that point.
9)Members do not discriminate so they are diverse. If you love books you can join the club. That is cool.
10)Members give great big hugs to authors when they give our work a chance. Thatâ€™s really what an author needs.
So next time your group meets, donâ€™t forget â€“ Group Hug. You are way cool.
Find Book Group Guidelines for the Witness series here!
Digital copies of Hostile Witness are always free.
Coincidentally, my monthly reading group met today. We had brunch at Ruby's Diner and discussed books and movies and laughed a lot. I enjoy my group a lot, though we are a little unconventional and rarely all read the same book. But I agree, book groups are wonderful and should be encouraged. Love the idea of sending sand from the local beach and candles. Very cool.