In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Mission Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. At our first meeting, we established the following expectations and guidelines for our group. Here’s what we came up with:
- Motivation. Why did people join this group? It will hopefully inspire all of us to read the classics!
- Rant/Share. This should be a place where people can rant about books (or aspects of books) which they don’t like as well as share what they enjoy.
- To Finish or Not to Finish… While everyone is encouraged to finish books before book club meetings, we also understand people have busy lives or may have lost motivation to finish certain books. Everyone is welcome, regardless of how far along they got in the book. Just don’t expect the group to keep quiet regarding spoilers!
- Help. Another big factor in being part of a book club is the assistance we can offer each other in reaching a greater understanding of books, whether it be unpacking a complicated plot, understanding characters’ motivations, or delving into the themes behind a story.
- Social/Talk About Books. A book club offers a chance to make connections with others. We want the chance to gather with others who enjoy reading and discussing what they’ve read.
- Movies. We also agreed it is perfectly acceptable to watch the movie adaptations of books. Part of our discussions may even be about the differences between a book and its movie version.
- Agree to Disagree. It is important that people can express their honest opinions about the books and the feelings they evoke. We must understand that we won’t always agree and that it is okay to have these differences of opinion.
- Author Background. We also talked about the value of knowing some background about a book’s author and the possible motivations and context in which the book was written. We agreed that we could post comments on the Meetup page about the author and also bring that into the discussions at book club.