Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Introducing: Book Club Exchange

As part of BBAW, I admitted that I was feeling a little mopey about my blog. I threw around a few new ideas (and am still thinking through some other ones;) and I had some positive response to my idea about a feature on book clubs. I think I am ready to implement this, but I need some help from all of you!

My basic concept is to do a feature (not sure if it will be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly -- that will depend on participation) on book groups. I would love to have guest posts about book club experiences from my loyal followers, friends, fellow book club members, and even authors. I am really open to anything related to book clubs and I mean anything at all -- the more unique, the better!

As a member of three book clubs, I find a huge amount of enjoyment in each of these groups for very different reasons. I think book clubs are doing so many terrific things, and I'd love for Booking Mama to be a vehicle to share this information! Like many of you, I am always curious about what other book clubs out there are doing. I thought this feature would be a good way to get some new ideas and further discussion.

Here are some of my ideas for guest posts -- of course, there are tons of other ones out there:

- How your book club got started
- What books have you read
- What books generated the best discussion
- How does your group make a selection
- Author visits or chats
- Benefit of reading guides
- Food/Drink served at meetings - recipes
- Members of book club
- What your book group means to you
- Holiday festivities/celebrations
- Themed meetings
- How does your group handle "problem" members
- Format of meetings
- What books were flops
- How to get started
- Book club resources

What I'm asking of you is to consider writing a guest post about book groups. In fact, I'd love it if you'd leave a comment after this post telling me that you want to participate in this feature. You don't even have to be a member of a book club to write a guest post -- you can talk about why you want to join one or a possible book that you think would make for great discussion. I am just looking for people to share their thoughts and ideas about book clubs!

I am extremely excited about the Book Club Exchange feature and I hope you are too!

P.S. - I don't know anything about the technical side of blogs, so I am begging for some help with a cute little button. If anyone is willing to make a small graphic for me, I'd be forever grateful!

Update: A huge thanks to Beth Fish Reads for making me this adorable button!


bermudaonion said...

I think this is a great idea! I wish I could create a button for you, but I'm technically challenged in that area.

Jo-Jo said...

This sounds like it would be a great feature Julie. My book club has been meeting for about five years now and I would love to participate.

Natalie said...

i'd be happy to post something about my book club experiences sometime...but maybe not for a few months, life is way too crazy right now!

email is

Pam said...

I don't blog but my book club just celebrated our 10th anniversary! With a little help and guidance (ie., questions you want me to answer, specifics to write about), I could certainly participate and write about my book club experience.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Molly said...

Well, I will not be able to be a guest contributor, as I have yet to find a book club in my area BUT....I will be sure to read all the posts so I can live vicariously through all of you.

Jenny Girl said...

Sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately I just dropped out of my book club, because I couldn't get there. Plus I missed the last 4 months.
Sorry that you feel mopey about blogging! It can be hard work, so maybe you need to streamline things a bit. Or Take a break.
Or how about change up your design or something?
Hope you get your mogo back ;)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm button-challenged, too. I dig this idea, babe; book clubs are cool things. I'd be totally game to guest blog for you about ours 'cause we have a niche specialty. Drop me an e-mail and we'll talk.

Kim said...

I can do a guest post, have a couple of ideas, contact me.


Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

I would cease to exist without my book group!! I've blogged about how to set up a group, our RULES and other tidbits.
Here is my "why I love book group" post. I would love to participate.

Ti said...

I would like to join in too. My book club has been around for 13 years and it's open to the public so we've had our challenges.

I am attempting to make a button for a challenge that I am toying with too and let me tell you, I am not your button gal! LOL.

Alipet813 said...

I would be willing to write a guest post. My book club won't meet again until the end of October so I couldn't get a picture until then. Mine would probably be a post about why we all joined the club. We are pretty loose in our meetings and don't follow any format. Half the time we don't even discuss the book. :)

Stacie said...

This sounds great Julie. I think it will give other book clubs ideas for great discussion books asa well as ideas for their meetings. I would be happy to write about our book club.

Trisha said...

I'd be willing to write a guest post! sounds like a terrific idea.

Beth F said...

Fabulous idea! If you find a public domain image or one of your own photographs, I could add the words to make a button, but I can't create one from scratch.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea! I'd be very interested in participating.

I run two book clubs, and participate in the Twitter Book Club. I mention all of them on my blog.

lucia said...

I'm an author of one novel (Nov 2008, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop), and a longtime bookclub member. I grew up spending a lot of time in a bookstore bc my grandfather owned one. I like the idea of a place for Book Clubs Exchang(ing) news and would love to post a comment sometime.

Lisa said...

Great idea! I'd be willing to do a post. I joined a book club a little over a year ago that's made some big changes in the past year. We have a great core group of ladies.


Aaron's Books in Lititz said...

Great idea! I'd happpily supply a post from the perspective of a bookstore that hosts bookgroups & offers incentives for outside the store groups :)

Barbara said...

sounds fun. not a blogger (yet!) but would like to throw in my two cents about my book club and book clubs, in general. thanks so much, Julie.

Chrisbookarama said...

I'd love to contribute. My book club is online and a couple of book bloggers is in it.

Suey said...

I'm always happy to talk about my book club! :)

Rel said...

Hi there :) I'm happy to pitch in and you can make it an international blog - LOL! I'm in Australia and have been running a great book club for over 7 years. Email me through my blog and let me know what you need.

Cheers :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm a former teacher now writing full-time. When I left the classroom last year, I asked my principal if I could continue the after-school book club I started with my sixth and seventh graders. I've since created a third grade club and one for fourth and fifth grade, too.

We meet once a month (so I am on campus three times a month, once for each group). Since I was their social studies teacher, the older kids read historical fiction. The third grade, is focusing on classics, such as Ramona the Pest and The Boxcar Children.

I've had an amazing response from parents and children. Third grade is discussing Sarah, Plain and Tall today.

April said...

What an awesome idea!! I have always thought that being part of a book club would be tons of fun!

Cindy Hudson said...

I would love to talk about mother-daughter book clubs Julie. And I'm impressed that you got that new button so quickly. It looks great.

Jenners said...

The button is so cute. And I think you have a lot of great ideas. Even though I'm not in a book club, I'd love to find one. I did have a negative experience in one that I was thinking about writing about on my own blog but I guess you could use it too if you wanted. I'll let you know when I finally write it.

Serena said...

I like the button.

I have a book club question that maybe someone could answer.

How do you find members who are open-minded about reading outside their genre/reading tastes?

I've had two book clubs and members have quit, leaving Anna and myself on our own, because they are "not fun" readers interested in reading books where they learn something or are challenged or because they simply only want to read books that they want to read, as opposed to allowing each member to pick books they would also like to read.

I'm not sure that makes any sense.

Icedream said...

I'm not always the most coherent writer but I absolutely love my book club and I would be happy to participate.

Sandra said...

Hi Julie. My nams is Sandra and i just started a personal blog not to long ago as well as a book club in Texas. I would love to share ideas. I came across your page for ideas on what other book clubs were reading, etc.

joyh82 said...

Awesome idea, I host a book club for our library and can't wait to see what you all post.

Julie said...

Hi Julie, I stumbled on your web site and took a double take because I also offer a Book Club Exchange (i.e a forum for Book Clubs to exchange books with one another) in my website I am in two book groups myself and would love to participate and discuss how we might further collaborate.

LBBlum said...

Hi- I would LOVE to do a guest post about starting a book club with your son!

I am a mother of 4 boys. When my oldest was just in first grade he was st-rug-gling to read and my friends were organizing a "mother-daugher book club".. hence we weren't invited.

I started a book club for my son and his friends. It has been over 6 years and I started a website to share my survival tips on how to host a book club for boys and reluctant readers.

so glad I found your site!

mpartyka said...

Sorry I'm so late to this discussion but I will be watching/reading along. I would be interested to talk about the Manic Mommies Book Club. I was managing the Omaha Bookworm's for over seven years but turned this over to Lisa (Lit and Life) just last month. I will be moving in the next few months but hope to still participate via skype.

Let me know if there are still openings for another BC.

Lisa Marz said...

At one time, I organized a group where we each picked a book and then every month we passed the book to the next member on the list. So, at the end of 10 months, we had each read 10 books. Then we all got together and talked about the books and just talked! What is this style of book group called? Thanks!