Book Club How-To’s: Keeping Track of The Details

Other administrative details to consider

Even in the most democratically-structured book club, you’ll need someone in charge of administrative details.

Booked {Reading Together} | Book Club Administrative Details for Meeting Success

Whether you refer to them as the group secretary or leader, or don’t have a particular title for them at all, someone will often need to:

  • Keep track of the books. It’s helpful to know which books you’ve read in the past, as well as which books are on schedule for the future.
  • Keep track of the hosts. If you always meet in the same public location, this may not be necessary, but if you rotate hosts, you’ll want to ensure you know who’s on the schedule.
  • Keep track of the facilitators. Someone needs to be prepared to lead the discussion – this may be the same as the host, but it may not be, and you’ll want to remember who it will be.
  • Reserve locations (if necessary).
  • Issue invitations. Email makes it very easy to send meeting invitations and keep track of who will be attending, but someone still has to send them.
  • Send out reminders and messages as needed. Whether it’s a change-of-time or –location message, you may need to contact your members on an occasional basis beyond meeting invitations.
  • Collect money (if applicable). If you have book club dues (to pay for a location or speaker or discussion leader, or any other fees), you’ll need someone to keep track of the funds.
  • Coordinate selecting books for future discussions. (This will depend on how your group selects books) (More on this later).

Remember: These jobs can all be rotated or shared as needed – they don’t all have to be done by one person, or by the same person forever.

How We Do It

We have a group leader (no official title that I’ve ever heard) who keeps track of the books we’ve read and will be reading in the future. She issues the invitations for each month’s meeting as well, so she also keeps track of who is on the schedule to host and facilitate each month.

Hosting and facilitating are two different roles, although they can be performed by the same person. There are no hosting or facilitating requirements of the members – it’s all volunteers.

Booked | Reading Together | A Series All about Book ClubsBooked: Reading Together

This is part of the Booked: Reading Together series. Throughout October, I’m writing all about book clubs.

Check out the archives in case you missed a post.


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Naked and Marooned
Two years ago: 31 Days of More Great Nonfiction: A Jump for Life
Three years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: We Die Alone

Comments

  1. Interesting. I hadn’t really thought about these logistics because my current book club is only 3 members. We use Facebook message to talk between meetings and select books together that way. Then at each meeting we select the location and date of our next meeting (and finalize our next book if we haven’t done it yet). We don’t have a facilitator because we have such informal discussions. And we don’t keep track of past books, although now I’ve been blogging about our meetings, so we’ll have some record.

    I’ll need to be a little more organized for my new book club. I’m sure I’ll be the organizer for a while until we get things settled a bit.

    • If you’re that new and small, it’s not such a big deal. But if/when you grow, it’s something to keep in mind. It may never matter with your group, but I think they’re things that are helpful to keep in mind so you can shape your group the way you want it.

      Although I do think everyone should keep track of past books, no matter how small the group is 🙂

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