I am lucky enough to be part of a really wonderful bookclub here in Sydney. I'm not sure exactly when bookclubs became so very popular but I think it was sometime in the late nineties or early naughties.
Our bookclub has been going for about six years...It began quite simply.
It was a time when there was a group of us who were of similar age (We met at Uni) but at different stages of our lives. Some had small children and lacked stimulating conversation, some were just back from living abroad, some had big jobs and no time to socialise, some had no children and wanted to find common ground with those immersed in them. Similar women with different lives.
So we hatched a plan. A bookclub with a core group of six of us and each of us had to bring a friend or two that no one knew. That way we would all meet new people and at first at least not revert to our usual conversations.
Our first book was The Kite Runner and we met in an Afghan restaurant. We were a little nervous and excited. We got off to a great start and have been going strong since.
We've had members come and go because of work, study or moving away. Sometimes people bow out for the year but still come to Christmas dinner, everyone is always welcome back. I miss some of the girsl who moved away but then I try to keep up with them out fo bookclub. Not always possible but always worth the effort.
We meet once a month (likat a restaurant because we are geographically spread across all corners of Sydney (We have members in Suthern Sydney, the Inner West, the East, Northern Beaches and on the North Shore). If you choose the book (and we take turns) then you choose the restaurant. So all these years later we've read some great books and eaten some great food. (I can probably recommend a restaurant to you should you need one on theme).
I feel lucky to have met these women and I have become friends with people I would never have met otherwise. It has been an absolute joy for me.
Our bookclub reads an ecclectic mix of books - we don't have a genre. This year we've done The Great Gatsby, What Rachel Forgot and The Room to name a few.
Almost every book we've done we have managed to find questions for online which helps us stay focussed.
That's my bookclub. If you are in one -how does yours work and what advice would you give to someone starting a bookclub?