National Reading Group Month
This post is dedicated to discussing my own experiences and offering advice if you're thinking about starting your own.
I went through a reading slump after I graduated college and didn’t want to pick up any new literature. I was so tired of reading all day, everday that I felt I needed a break. However, realizing I finally had the opportunity to read WHATEVER I wanted to read, I started getting back into the literary world. When I began to miss the days of college lectures and round table discussions, I knew I had to start engaging in stimulating educational activites.
Maybe you’ve felt that, too?
A couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to get the most out of my reading, and wanted to meet other literature lovers in my area. I advertised on Craigslist, contacted acquaintances and welcomed anyone that was interested.
In the beginning, commitments were broken and people didn’t show up, which left me feeling disconcerted.
But I’ve got a great group of 4 now, soon to be 5, and it’s the perfect size.
How the Group Works:
We divide a selected title in half, conquering our reading goals before we attend each meeting. I encourage members to make notes while they read. This way, members can express their points, while using the text to elucidate their views.
You may decide to appoint members to choose reading selections, and then lead those particular meetings. So far, we collectively engage in the material, all speaking and posing questions. I feel that the group is very much conversational, and you just have to find/create a group that operates the way in which you enjoy discussion/organization.
We meet anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours. (I decided against maintaining rigid time lines.) Instead, I encourage members to come to the meeting ready to discuss, allowing about an hour to really hash out our thoughts on the book. Then, once we’ve finished our discussion and have decided on the next book, we’re free to discuss our social lives and enjoy an evening out. This is probably one of the most rewarding aspects of participating in a group: nothing beats meeting really interesting individuals in the community.
This will change from group to group. Again, it’s about finding something that works for you so that you’re getting the most out of the experience.
-Make sure everyone shares an equal objective in reference to the group’s goals.
-Keep it fun and informative! Make sure everyone is included and comfortable with other members of the group. Moderate so that everyone has their say.
I’m so happy with my decision to create a reading group. I’ve met a group of successful, intelligent women, around my age, in the Atlanta area. I look forward to getting through a book and then meeting to discuss. I love sitting at a café with interesting people while enjoying a nice glass of wine.
I believe that if you’ve ever considered doing something like this there’s absolutely NO reason you shouldn’t.