Book Club

TPIBC-Full-Logo all black

I’ve had a few requests to bring it back. What do you think? Before I do, I’d like to get some feedback on procedure.

I like the we read a wide variety of books. Last time, we ended up reading young adult, fantasy, cooking, politics/fashion, mystery, classical literature, science, short stories, dystopian, and much more. We really read almost anything and everything, but is it time to narrow our focus? Should we stick to a couple of genres, like young adult, or should that be a separate book club for those who are passionate about a genre?

We kept the discussions to the blog, and I think that worked for people who don’t participate in social media. It also made it easy to reference back if someone read the book later. I’ve seen book clubs on Twitter, and so far I haven’t been impressed. It’s like walking into a room with 25 people talking at once. Facebook, eh. It’s also hard to keep track of what’s going on. I’m shooting for a redesign of this blog, hopefully this summer, and I’d like to add some comment features since we do have a pretty active community here. I love it when people talk amongst themselves.

We had a set date, which I was able to stick to some of the time. I think a set date works best, and I will try to be better about sticking to my own deadlines. Honestly, I forget! I will put it in my calendar.

I tried to pick books a month at a time. Towards the end, I tried 3 months at a time. That worked well. I have been debating picking out the books for an entire year in advance, but would that stifle our ability to tackle a new and interesting book, or should we do “bonus round” book clubs for books that come out and are too irresistible?

Those are my thoughts on book club. I’m eager to hear yours. Thanks!

Comments
16 Responses to “Book Club”
  1. Tanyia says:

    I didn’t get to participate in the Book Club this past year because my schedule just wouldn’t allow for it. But I loved following along with the conversations in my spare time, and reading the thoughts everyone had on the books!

    I’m hoping to get a chance to participate this go-round, so here are my thoughts.

    I think that we absolutely should keep our choices broad, instead of narrowing to a single genre. First, it fits with the namesake of the Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club, don’t you think? Plus, I think it keeps a broader range of people interested in participating – instead of just including those that are interested in young adult, for instance.

    I think a set date is more manageable for everybody – we can schedule it in and then know that’s when it’s happening. I also definitely like the format of having the discussions on the blog. Honestly, Facebook is so difficult because as you’re typing a response – 15 other people could be as well and it’s difficult to keep up with. Plus, like you said, people that aren’t interested in social media wouldn’t be able to participate if you moved it over to a social media format.

    Picking books for the year in advance has it’s advantages. For example – that would give people time to come across copies of the books, whether through purchase or borrowing. And you wouldn’t necessarily have to plan which books were being read each month – rather you could make a list of 12 books and then we could pick from the list at the beginning of the month, or the end of the previous month?

    Also, I like the idea of having ‘bonus book clubs’ for those books that come out after we’ve made our list, that are just too irresistible to NOT read.

    I’ll be happy any which way it’s decided, but that’s my two cents! :)

    • I agree with everything Tanyia says. Broad is great for what we read but there has to be a little structure so we join in.

      The bonus book idea is fabulous! There will be some great books found along the way that will come out of nowhere and we should definitely have the freedom to add them in as well.

      Excited to participate

  2. Kat in Canada says:

    Here are my votes:

    – Keep the genres broad. Not only will it appeal to the widest segment of people, but it also exposes readers to books they may otherwise have passed over (*cough*cough*You got me reading YA and now I’m addicted *cough*cough*). I like the variety of books we’ve covered!

    – Set dates work best- then everyone has a goal they know they need to work towards.

    – I have no problem with laying out a year’s worth of books at a time, and then picking the next book from that short list every month (or three months, or whatever).

    – I’m always up for “bonus rounds” as new and interesting books come out. Yay reading!! :-D

    – Keep the discussion here. The comments function as a conversation- with one person making their point, and the next person letting them finish before writing back- and I’m sorry, but Twitter book clubs are unworkable. You’ve seen my reviews- can you imagine that broken down into 140-character chunks? PUH-LEEZE. We’d be there for days! Also, it’s almost impossible to talk to each other on Twitter, especially when more than two people are involved. You spend 80 of your 140 characters just tagging them all!

    I am SO, SO excited that the PIBC is going to crank up again- I love reading, but I need someone to talk about the books with, and none of my friends seem to be into that!

  3. Kendra says:

    I feel like I just won at life.

  4. Jeen-Marie says:

    What she said! ^^^
    I love your book club and I have read some fantastic books that I normally would not have read AND subsequently recommended them to my mom’s book club and they loved them (or at least resulted in great conversations)!
    Sooooo… My thoughts:
    •Keep genre’s broad for larger variety.
    •Stay on the blog for discussion bc it’s already confusing enough to find a recommendation/previous mention of books.
    •Picking 3-4 books at a time still allows for flexibility and time for those who request library books with long wait lists.
    •Set dates give deadlines to those who need them. Also, know that your readers are understanding and know life happens and the date may change.
    * CAN NOT WAIT and where’s the suggestion list?!

  5. Michele C says:

    I would love to be a part of this book club!
    I think it’s great to keep it open to all genres, set deadlines and to discuss on the blog.

    Cannot wait!

  6. Christina says:

    I agree with all the above. Keep genres broad. I read a lot of different things from non fiction to fiction, cookbooks and some young adult and even juvenile. Since I work in a library I have pretty good access to books.

  7. Torey says:

    I’ve always enjoyed seeing what books you picked and reading the discussions, even when I hadn’t read the book.

  8. Second the idea of 3 or so months at a time. I agree with broad genres in principle, but know that means there are likely some months I wouldn’t participate. (Too many books, too little time for those that don’t do it for me.) Because I work during the day, I can’t participate in more immediate kinds of social media. Hate Twitter, and can’t count on actually seeing what people post on FB in real time even if I could hang out there during working hours. (Thanks for not much, M. Zuckerburg.)

    Take all this for what it’s worth from someone who hasn’t participated before but would like to now.

  9. Kathy says:

    I like reading your book reviews. I do work full time so having the conversation on the comments would be best for me. I haven’t participated before but would like to join in.

  10. YJ says:

    Agree that it worked via the comments on the blog for timing and other socialmedia constraint reasons.

    I am very excited about the book club coming back! I was introduced to A Discovery of Witches, the Fever series, Eleanor & Park and An Everlasting Feast thanks to the book club!

    I liked it broad as well, even though I LOVE YA books. Set dates are great as an aspirational hard stop. :o) Thank you for putting in the time to do this!

  11. Susan G says:

    YES!

    Oh – you want specifics. :) I’ll be happy whatever you do with Book Club as long as we have it I like trying lots of different types of books, I like knowing a few months ahead of time, I like discussing them here. On the other hand, I’ll also keep coming here and I’ll keep reading books no matter what you decide.

  12. Kellie says:

    I’m excited to start in with the book club. I agree with all the above comments- keep it broad and the comments on the blog. The Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club is actually the reason I came to this blog and subscribed!

  13. LauraC says:

    I second, third, fourth, and fifth the keep it off Twitter and FB! I like commenting here and want to do a better job at reading and participating this time. But I will join Twitter for no one. Yeah for bringing it back; I need more brain stimulation! Happy Cinco de Mayo! (My brother and fam live in Puebla, Mexico where the battle was fought (I’ve been there) and it’s funny because it’s a big event in Puebla and kids are off school, but he says it’s not really that big of a holiday in Mexico in general. Fun fact for the day.)

  14. Phaedra says:

    Pretty much if you bring back book club that will make my day, no matter what you decide! YAY for PIBC!! I agree with the ‘no twitter/FB’ and I loved the wide range of genres you chose from before as it introduced me to several topics/authors that I would never have tried out (and ended up loving). Three months of suggestions at a time is wonderful because then I can request from library, but if you can’t I totally understand. Sooo..what I’m saying is, if you bring back book club, I’m ‘happy, happy.’

  15. Kirsten says:

    And this is why I love PC&FF and the PIBC – all the great comments. dittos to all the above – it sounds like a consensus! And like Kendra (above) we win!

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.