Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Building A Real Life Book Club (Part I)

It can be isolating to be a military spouse - moving every few years, far from family, and having to create your friend network from the ground up in each new town. One way to reach out and make friends is through Facebook pages and groups geared toward your new base/camp/naval station/coast guard station/fort. And it is through those groups that you can broach the subject of meeting up with people with similar interests.

It is through a spouses' page for my husband's base that I met other moms and formed a playgroup, which turned into my strong friend network here in England. It is also through this spouses' page that I brought up the subject of a book club - the response was immediate and enthusiastic! Two of my friends from my network and I decided to form the book club, but three people didn't seem like enough to get a good book discussion going. So I wrote a FB group post asking for seven more people (most book club experts agree that clubs should consist of 8-12 people for best discussion) and two hours later, had a full membership. Step one: find members completed.

But where would we get copies (cheaply) of the same title for all of us? Price was a factor but also accessibility and on-time delivery were also important when living overseas.

Luckily, we have access to not one, but two great libraries - one on each of two bases in our tri-base area. USAFE libraries has a program ("Book Club in a Box") with 106 different book club kits; 10 copies are included in each kit. One person requests a specific kit and wait for the kit to be delivered to their preferred library. The kit also comes with talking points about the book, the author, and, most importantly, discussion questions! My two friends and I decided on the first book amongst ourselves (A Reliable Wife: A Novel by Robert Goolrick). Step two: chose book accomplished.

So that is where we are at as of today; awaiting the kit so that we can distribute the book and set up a time and date for our first book discussion.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

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