A Multi-Title Book Club

by Ashley Crace, Head Editor, INALJ West Virginia

A Multi-Title Book Club

AshleyCraceLike many of you reading INALJ articles, I LOVE book clubs. I love talking about books with other people who love talking about books. One of my favorite aspects of public librarianship is the opportunity to take part in and even lead book clubs. This post is about Teen Book Club.

We started our Teen Book Club at the beginning of summer, which was fantastic because the teens were out of school and had extra time to read. The book club went very well and the teens were enjoying it, so we continued it into the school year.

Our book club teens take time out of their busy schedules to read books that we choose together. Since we started the club, the teens have led the selection of books. This was important to me because I wanted it to be their book club and wanted them to have an investment in the club. We recently stumbled upon an idea, which has made our book club more dynamic and fun.

There are so many young adult books that we want to read, so we came up with the idea that instead of everyone reading the same title, we could each read a different book and present it to the group. Since we have gotten to know each other and one another’s reading tastes, we can accurately predict who would most enjoy a particular book or not. This structure requires the teens to independently analyze then report what they are reading rather than just saying why they like a book. Book club members deliver book talks, compare the book to other titles they have read, and sometimes say why they don’t like a book. I have been calling it a readers’ advisory book club.

We recently finished our first month of reading books like this and are moving on to the second month. In addition to creating interesting reading experiences and meetings, this is practical. Sometimes it can be difficult or expensive to obtain multiple copies of a newer title that the members want to read. With this type of club, we only need one copy of each book. After one person has read a book, another who found their book talk interesting can check it out and read it as well.

Every book club is different, it is important to choose books together to make sure everyone has a say in what is being read. Does anyone have any great ideas that have worked for their book club?