The last few weeks I’ve been obsessing over possible book club choices for next year.
I think sometimes I like the planning almost as much as the actual reading – all that potential, and the wonderful possibilities that there are!
Step One: Begin with All The Books
I started with the master list of book possibilities that we’ve kept for years (and a refresh about what books we’ve already read). Next we asked for suggestions from other members. Then I went digging through reference guides and book lists I’ve been compiling. I paid a visit to my own blog posts for fiction and nonfiction possibilities to refresh my memory as to books worth trying.
Step Two: Show Some Restraint, and Reduce it to a Reasonable Level
That’s when it became lots of fun for me. I started grouping possibilities into themed units, for voting purposes. Instead of having a list of 100 books, it becomes a more manageable list – here are a few classics; which one would you like to read? Here are a few historical fiction titles; which one do you like best?
I ended up re-configuring the groupings multiple times, trying to keep things fairly balanced between the groups, with a nice mix of themes and types of books.
One note of clarification: I still have the master list with all.the.books listed. We’ll look at that next year when it’s time to decide on books for 2018. Only if we decide that we are definitely NOT going to read a book does it get deleted off that list.
Step Three: Collect the Votes!
Ultimately I finished with 16 groups, with 3 or 4 choices in each group. Next up for me is to make the actual survey and send it out to the club members.
As part of the survey, not only am I asking everyone to pick their favorite(s) from each grouping, I’m asking them to select which groups they actually want to read. We don’t want to pick a fantasy novel (even if everyone votes for the same one) if no one really wants to read a fantasy novel!
Step Four: Make the Final Decisions
Once the votes are in, we’ll look over them all and see what the members requested. And at that point we’ll start figuring out when the books best fit in our book club calendar!
Next week (?) I plan to share the list of books I’m sending out to members for voting consideration. I’m excited about the possibilities and wish we could read all of them!
Previously on The Deliberate Reader
One year ago: Bookroo: A Bookish Subscription Service