About My Book Club

Actual membership in my book club averages six women. I make a calendar bookmark every year and pass it out in December showing when the next year's meetings will be and who will host. The hostess chooses the book. We try to announce the pick two months ahead of time. (So, at January's meeting the lady who will host in March announces her pick.) We find that allows time to order from Amazon, or combine shipping and order two months at once. I also appreciate the advance notice because sometimes I have an opportunity to read ahead. Other ladies prefer to not start the next book until we meet on the previous book because they forget elements. I solve this by keeping notes.

Our book club has no rules on selections. We agreed in the beginning that nothing was off limits. Even so, we haven't read anything too controversial. We utilize a variety of methods to choose a book. Some women search on the internet for reviews. Some ask their family members for recommendations. I keep a list of books I want to read based on reviews I read in the Sunday paper or other things I hear. Then, when I can pick up books for free (like getting the $5 gift card at Half Priced Books for being one of the first 100 shoppers on Black Friday) I'll get books off my list. I have them lined up on my shelf in order of interest and that's what I use to make my selection.

We are all mom's but that's the only single element we all have in common. Our children are not the same ages. Some of us work, some stay home. Initially we all went to the same church (although we rarely saw each other there because we attend at different times) but now we even have a member of a different faith.

We do not have any attendance requirements. We've had a couple ladies drop out after missing several meetings. But we keep hoping they'll pop back in - even if it is just for one month. As people join in or drop out we adjust our calendar. Usually it works out that as someone drops someone else joins so the new member just picks up the month of the recently dropped member but sometimes we bump the months up. One of us is a teacher and we always schedule her a summer hostess spot because she prefers it that way so I just adjust the rotation accordingly.

Initially we met at 7:30 pm on Sunday nights. This allowed us to feed our families and get small children mostly settled down before we left. Now that all our kids are teenagers or older (mine is the youngest at 15 1/2) we meet at 6:30. The hostess provides beverages and light snacks and generally leads the discussion. Usually her family goes out and the Dad enjoys time with his children. Sometimes they are home but in another room. Sometimes we venture out. I like to choose a book that allows me to do something with a theme. I have taken my turns as hostess in Starbucks (Selden Edwards' The Little Book), Double Dave's Pizza (John Grisham's Playing for Pizza), and my backyard pool (Franz Wisner's Honeymoon with my Brother).

We often share books. A couple of ladies that live near each other often take turns buying the book and then pass it to the other once they finish. I try to get the books from the library. Because we live in a rural area, half the group has access to a library in a large town with many locations and the other half only has a small town library. Many times I have sub-loaned a book from the large town library to a lady who can only access the small library. Many of the ladies will devour a book in a weekend. A couple of us chip away at it a few pages at a time throughout the month. A few of us will listen to the book on audio, if available, during our work commute. I'll even get both the audio and the hard copy and read if I'm inside, listen if I'm in the car. I usually carry the book in the car with me and adjust my bookmark whenever I stop.