Boosting Book Clubs in Berwyn
Posted by: Ted Balcom
During a recent visit to the Berwyn (IL) Public Library, I paused to look at the staff’s current display of favorite book discussion titles and picked up a handy-dandy list of the library’s favorite book discussion resources.
In addition to noting Book Group Buzz as a helpful choice, the list encourages prospective book discussion participants to check out LitLovers, which is described as being like “Facebook for book clubs — an online community for people in book discussion groups.” You’ll find lists of popular titles, reviews, questions, tips and tricks, and a blog on this site.
The list also highlights Book Browse: Your Guide to Exceptional Books, a superb resource for tips on planning and running a book discussion group. Random House is credited as the first major publisher to take book clubs seriously, and they devote an entire site (Random House’s Book Club Center) to information about their book club friendly titles.
Another favorite is Reading Group Choices, a popular website that offers informative and interactive material of interest to book clubs. This company produces a printed guide annually, as well. Most Book Group Buzz readers have probably already discovered ReadingGroupGuides.Com: The Online Community for Reading Groups. In case you haven’t, it’s definitely worth checking out. The folks at Berwyn Public call it “a treasure trove of information,” and they are exactly right — it offers lists of book club favorites, complete with plot summaries, discussion questions, author biographies and interviews.
And something else you should definitely not miss — the lively blog by Berwyn readers advisor and book discussion leader Becky Spratford, RA for All. Besides being fun to read, it’s highly informative, since Becky frequently posts items about book discussion related issues as well as a monthly report on what her own group is reading and discussing.
The library also has prepared book discussion kits, with each kit including six to twelve copies of a book previously discussed at the library. The kits come with book leader resources and discussion questions, so borrowers will be all set for their own book discussion sessions.
What a great way to energize book club meetings! Bravo to Becky and the Berwyn Public staff! I just couldn’t resist passing this along.