We recently asked Culture Vultures’ readers to choose a book for our book club. For good measure, CV also suggested introducing a controversial guest female reviewer into our all-male bookclub as part of the process. All in all, we found the entire process a really positive experience and a real eye opener into how we could bring some new people and ideas into what we do.
On one hand, we could quite happily carry on as we are and have been doing for the last 6 years – reading books, drinking red wine, causing a ruckus in The Cross keys…but we do like to change and develop and we feel that the time is right to invite some new members to join us.
We could simply ask people we know, but as we generally came together not really knowing each other, we feel that we should continue in this vein and find new members that none of us know. Then we had a brainwave: why not ask the readership of the Culture Vulture if anyone out there would like to join the Boys Book Club. And we’re looking for two people to join – do you fancy it?
This of course raises a whole host of questions and issues. Firstly how do you go about choosing people to join without it turning into the new lodger interview scene from Shallow Grave? I like the famous Groucho Marx quote “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member” and I suspect that if any of our current members applied or been interviewed to join this book club, we probably wouldn’t have got in.
And then the questions began…
- What if more than two people want to join ?
- Do we simply go random and put names in a hat?
- Shall we ask people to give a short reason on why they would like to join?
- Should we ask people to pick their favourite books?
- How about first come first served?
- Are we still going to be a Boys Only Book Club?
The more you think about it, the more complicated it gets! On top of this, we’re very concerned about coming across as some worthy literary types deciding who is deemed suitable to join us – that’s definitely not what we are about. We came together randomly, have a great time and would like two people to join in and share that with us. Every one of us has brought interesting experiences to our discussions and we have no doubt that the new people would do the same.
I think it’s worth noting that there is a certain amount of process and rigour to what we do (see original post for full details) so any new person coming along would need to a) read the book (and there will be a wide variety of books read) and b) be prepared to give their view of that book (not some Googled researched view but their view). We meet roughly every 4 weeks (usually the 1stFriday of the month) and we normally meet in a pub in Leeds.
If you fancy it then we think that the best thing is to send in a very short expression of interest to Ian at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll then pick two candidates. It could be that we end up picking more than two people and they could come along and meet us to see if you fancy being part of it – to be honest, we’re still not sure the best way to do this just that we want to do it. One other thing we did think is that if there are a few people interested then perhaps we could put other people in touch and hey presto a new random book club is formed. By the way, if you have any bright ideas to help with our ‘difficult’ process then please leave them in the comments section below.
Over to you…