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How to keep a book club conversation on track and broaden conversation?

Created: 05/11/11

Replies: 3

Posted May. 11, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bethg

Join Date: 05/11/11

Posts: 1

How to keep a book club conversation on track....

Our book club is in North Miami, Fl. We are looking for a paid facilitator to help keep us on track and perhaps broaden our discussion of the books we read. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Posted May. 11, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 402

Expert

How to keep a book club conversation on track....

Hi Beth,

That's a pretty specialized request - I've posted a message on Facebook to our followers in Miami, so maybe something will come from that, but in case it doesn't, perhaps some tips on moderating groups might help?

With this in mind you might find this page useful:
http://www.bookbrowse.com/bookclubs/advice/index.cfm/fuseaction/moderating_meetings plus some of our other book club advice pages that you'll find linked from the top of that page.


Have any other visitors reading this experienced similar problems with their book club conversations going off course? If so, would be great if you could share tips on how you get things back on track again!


Posted Sep. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: How to keep a book club conversation on track and broaden conversation?

It's a problem that can happen in any group! Sometimes getting "off track" can really enhance the discussion and bring it to a deeper level. For the leader, it becomes a judgement call. More often it just winds up being a frustration for the group and the discussion rolls out of control. When that is the case I hear my self saying: that's interesting, but.... Or, getting back on topic....

As leader, I am not shy about keeping the discussion on track!

When everyone starts talking at the same time I let it go for maybe a minute -- then I say quite loudly: HEY! (silence falls quickly!) You are all leaving me out of the discussion -- I can't hear any of it!


Posted Sep. 12, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 402

Expert

RE: How to keep a book club conversation on track and broaden conversation?

Kathy,

It's been interesting watching the discussions develop in BookBrowse's new book club section as it has made me question what getting off track actually means. For example, one of the most popular topics in the discussion about "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is "Do you always thoroughly read consent forms before signing them?" While in the discussion about "The Help", "Is racism inherent or taught?" has proved a hot topic.

I wonder whether your group would consider these sorts of conversations on or off topic? I think one could argue that they are off topic in the strictest sense because most of the responses are commenting on personal experiences/opinions rather than connecting these to events in the book; but I would argue that they are very much on topic in light of why many of us read (or at least I do) which is to use books to add to our experiences and test our own preconceptions.

What do you think?


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