How do you select your book?
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My group has gone through different methods since its inception. We used to pick something by general consensus for the following month, but that was sometimes difficult. Now we usually pick two months in advance. One member brings two or three selections and then the group decides between those options. We've only been choosing books this way for a couple of months, but it's working pretty well so far.
What does your group do?
The other club is made up of all women, and each month we put book titles in a hat (or bowl) and select one.
In one the leader picks all the books and picks them for the year. In the other, we rotate choosing the books and pick one for the next month. Both clubs are connected to a public library and the books are interlibrary loaned.
There are good things about both methods. I enjoy reading books that I might not normally pick...that is the main reason for my being in these clubs. Sometimes we have to delay one of our choices because the book is too "hot". We even have read Young Adult books (although we are definitely not a young adult group). The latest is "A Mango-shaped Space" by Wendy Mass. I very much enjoyed it. The other club's pick was "Lucia, Lucia". I enjoyed the story even though it was obvious where the story was heading.
At our last meeting of the year, we also bring all our personal books we have read throughout the year and have a book exchange. The leftovers are donated to our town's community book sale
The club year runs September to June (10 months). The September meeting is at a local Chapters bookstore (the Canadian version of B&N). The manager usually provides some chairs that we can put in a circle. Everyone picks some possibilities from the shelves, or brings them along, and then gives a little talk on why they think that book would be good for our group. Usually some books get discarded through this process (too many people have already read it, unsuitable book after all, etc.). Then we vote on the remaining books. Each person gets 8 votes. We then assign the top books to one of 8 months. We leave two months open just to be flexible. Sometimes it's too difficult to get copies of the books we've selected, other times some other great book comes along that everyone wants to read. Sometimes we read the 8 we pick in the first 8 months, and then pick the last 2 in spring.
At our final meeting in June we try to pick a summer book to discuss at the September meeting. This doesn't always work and sometimes we just agree to individually talk about what we've read when we see each other in September.
I think this system works really well.