Monday, May 12, 2014

The BYOB – Bring Your Own Book!

Sometimes book clubs can get in a rut. Too many Oprah picks, too much nonfiction, too many memoirs, too many of any single type of book can dampen the ardor of even the most devoted bibliophile. How to gracefully leap over the book club rut? Reenergize your gathering with a BYOB.

Not that BYOB, though a fun new cocktail (book related, of course) always hits the spot.

This BYOB: Bring Your Own Book. It works like this. Instead of everyone in book group reading the same title, every member brings a different book to the meeting. The book could be one they’ve already read and loved, or a book that intrigues and they want to read, or one that’s getting a lot of buzz. All each club member has to do is share information about the book or read aloud an especially intriguing passage.

That’s it. It’s easy to do, especially if you’re also spicing up the club meeting with a new biblio-related beverage. Everyone learns about new titles and may be introduced to a new favorite author.

Here’s a book club beverage recipe to try if your BYOB is a mystery.

The Dark and Stormy
In a tall glass, squeeze one lime wedge over ice.
Add 2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal rum (This is traditional. If you use another dark rum, it will be our little secret.)
Add 10 oz. ginger beer.
Top with a fresh lime wedge.


Jim Jackson said...

It sounds like you have a good plan to keep the book group fresh. The one I belong to votes on books to read, so we do seem to get a lot of variety.

~ Jim

Kara Cerise said...

Good idea, Shari. I will pass along your BYOB idea, along with the Dark and Stormy recipe, to book club friends.

Shari Randall said...

I realized I forgot my question at the end:
How do you keep your book club energized?
Still blaming it on Malice!
I like the voting idea, Jim. Variety keeps things interesting.
Thank you, Kara. How long has your book club been together?

Warren Bull said...

That sounds like a good thing to keep in mind, The book club I'm in hasn't had the problem yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't get to that place.

E. B. Davis said...

Love the recipe, Shari! I often wonder how readers' groups survive. Readers have such varied tastes. I was in one such group and found many did not read the books. The real "discussion" was accomplished by two women (who did read the book) and the rest gossiped. I know all groups aren't like that, but the ones I've attended were gruesome. Your idea is a good one. Weekly Reader book reports! I loved writing book reports. Guess I haven't changed much, huh?

KM Rockwood said...

I'm scheduled to address a mystery book club in the next county this month. I thin it's going to be fun (and of course, it helped sales a bit!)

I don't belong to a book club, but I am giving it some thought. There are several in my area.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, I belong to two book clubs. The Third Thursday one meets at 11:00 a.m. at a local restaurant in a quiet area, and then most of us stay for lunch after the discussion. In December we meet at one member's home for a Christmas party and each of us come with at least one suggestion and sometimes more for books we think would be good for the following year. Some members have read the book and thought others would enjoy it, or others heard from someone that it was a good book. Before we leave, we assign the books for each month for the following year excluding December. Most of the members read the book, although some books not as many people finish them.

My other book club, The Red Read Robin book club meets on the last Thursday evening of the month. Mostly this club meets in the homes of members for dinner and then a discussion of the book. If a member is unable to have the club meet in their home, they reserve a table at a restaurant. The hostess for that month picks the book and tells the members the month before what the book will be. This is the book club that always serves wine, too. Do I like every book chosen? No. But I enjoy the discussions and different members input. Also, I really enjoy the camaraderie, and being introduced to books I might never have read if it wasn't a book club choice. I've found wonderful reads through my book clubs, and since I didn't know any of the members in either book club before joining except one only casually now I have almost two dozen friends who love books that I didn't have before.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Warren,
Are there equal numbers of men and women in your group? I've heard some guys say that they tend to like nonfiction more than women do.
EB, I've heard about that with some groups. My group does love to socialize, but we're good about addressing the books. Usually! And if we don't read it, we just fake it.
KM, can't wait to hear how the book club meeting goes! congratulations!
Hi Gloria - Your book clubs sound well organized and fun. I do not know how you fit everything in! One book club meeting a month is all I can handle.

Sarah Henning said...

Love this idea, Shari! It reminds me of those "Blind Date with a Book" promotions libraries do. I don't belong to a book club, but I can completely imagine the type of problems you describe that can cause issues after some time.