Starting or joining a bookclub

There are many threads and websites you can visit that give you boiler-plate pointers on how to start a book club or what to look for when joining a book club, so today I want to share some ideas and the hopes we have for members of our book club.

We envisage Cosi-Cosi Book Club to be a social gathering of people from diverse backgrounds that not only gather to share their reads and thoughts, but also to learn about the beautiful dissimilarities that exist in our world. People from different backgrounds meshing together to share their experiences and open each other’s minds to the nuances of society.

Open yourself up to a world of new people and experiences, maybe you enjoy fiction and you get to engage with non-fiction readers and all that that comes with; by starting a book club chapter or joining one. Managing book clubs requires a bit of time but with instant messaging groups it is easy to co-ordinate meetings and communicate. Ideally, members meet once a month and members can be anywhere from two people per club chapter.

If you take the decision to do something new and interesting for yourself this year and join the Cosi-Cosi Book Club, here are some tips for you:

  • Add members to the club by sharing it with friends and colleagues, this is the registration link for all members, click on the link to share it!
  • Once you have registered and have your club members also registered, we’ll create a group for your club chapter where you can interact with each other and us to organise meetings and events. Use our Whatsapp number to request to be added to a group in your area after registering here 065 953 9977
  • Find the right time to meet. Finding the right time for everyone tends to be difficult as everyone has a different schedule, but we work together to find a time that works for everyone.
  • Picking a meeting place. Club chapter meetings don’t have to happen at the same place, they can be at any of the members’ homes, at a coffee shop, library or bookstore. Once you and your members have registered you can ask our team to secure a location for you and we will engage local areas that can host your meetings.
  • Agree on the purpose of that club chapter. Our overall vision is to make reading accessible to everyone, particularly the youth. Please note that there is a difference between a theme and a purpose. The theme can be fixed i.e., novels or fluid and change per meeting; while the purpose goes beyond that to something more meaningful like members donate funds by way of membership contributions or old books to libraries or disadvantaged communities.
  • Set standards, we have a policy for our club that dictates how club chapters should also operate. These policies may be updated per club chapter but any changes need to be sent to us for approval. This is in order to ensure that club chapters operate in the interest of all members.
  • For the first meeting, it makes sense for you to suggest the title and prepare a few discussion questions. Depending on the seriousness level of the club chapter, you may want to do a bit of research on the author, time period, etc. Moving forward, every member should have a voice, with the group reserving veto power in case too many have already read the book or don’t consider it appropriate. Don’t want to deal with the committee selection process? Follow a best-seller list or recommendations from a website that focuses on your genre. P.S.: It’s a nice courtesy for the moderator of the next meeting to send everyone a reminder e-mail a few days beforehand.
  • Blogging and contributing to the club online: members are encouraged to join their chapters Whatsapp group and the Facebook group where they can submit their reviews and thought-pieces on the books they have read and would recommend.

Once all these considerations have been planned out, you can join or start your own chapter! We look forward to reading and learning with you.

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