Meetings

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Our club meets once per month: on the last Sunday at 3pm. Meetings typically last around 2 hrs but have run longer on occasion when the chatting gets good. It is not mandatory to stay for the entire time if meetings run longer than expected.  For full participation rules for meetings, see our Participation page.

Meetings Agenda

Meetings begin with small talk, wine pooring, and food dishing.  Once everyone has found their seating, gotten comfortable, and conversation has died down, we officially begin.  Usually someone will shout out about the book & we figure out who liked it or hated it, why, and debate ensues. Straying from topic is pretty common, but we get back on track eventually.

Once conversation about the book has teetered some, “Housecleaning” begins.

We run down the list of attendees to find out how far everyone got in the book.

We bring up the winner of the most recent poll and re-announce the next book to read.  Reading begins the day following book club meetings, and lasts until the next meeting.

We get member suggestions for the next book genre to try out.

We ask if anyone wants to volunteer to host the next meeting.  And, we

What to Bring

We ask that you bring your book/ereader with you to the meeting so we can note your progress during the meeting. This is something new that we are doing to help to keep every member accountable to the club and motivated to read each month. We tried it the other way and ended our first year with very low participation causing lack of overall interest, and members quitting…

Each meeting is potluck-style so that the host isn’t responsible for full funding duty.  It is up to each member to decide if they want to bring anything, and what to bring.  Typical options would be appetizers, sweets, treats, & wine.

Cell phones, tablets, ereaders, laptops, etc. should be set to vibrate or silent during discussion.

Bringing Friends or Family to Meetings

We like to discourage members bringing their kids, or male friends/spouses, etc to sit-in on meetings.  This includes Hosts’ homes during meetings where this may be less avoidable.  Children & boys tend to make it much harder to open up and really discuss personal thoughts and emotions if the discussion is swayed in such a way.  Obviously, this is not a set “rule” for extenuating circumstances, but it is only permitted as a rare once-in-a-while, and not on a regular basis.

As a member, if you know someone who wants to join or if you have female friends, family, or adult children that want to try out the club, this is of course completely acceptable, and welcomed.  Invite-privileges, however, don’t apply to our newest members until they bypass their trial months and become full members.

During Holidays

– if a meeting falls on a holiday – the schedule will be adjusted. This is typically a group-member decision made at the meeting before that month.  Otherwise, meetings are always on the last Sunday of the month at 3pm.

Hosting

Hosting will rotate monthly. Any volunteer will have first choice & can host as many times as they want. On months where no one volunteers, those who haven’t hosted in a while will be asked to host before drawing members from a hat at random. You have the option of hosting at your home or also at a public place if you so choose as long as the place is quiet enough & has space enough for our club meeting. (Public libraries, for example, often have spaces for bookclubs to meet). If you option for your home, remember that children & spouses are discouraged from attending, but if they remain in the house of the host, should remain out of the meeting place if possible.

RSVPing

RSVP to each meeting so that the host knows how many people to expect. This is just good manners. RSVPing in some form is MANDATORY. You can respond to the monthly meeting invitation or if you cannot access your computer, then please text the host to let them know personally.

Other

We use meetings for more than our monthly discussions, etc.  We sometimes have changes that become necessary when many people are swaying from trend on participation, or reading, or whatever.  All major club changes since we began in 2013 have been fully discussed in meetings before changes have been made.  If something comes up that Celeste and I realize maybe needs to become a change or rule, we set time aside in the nearest meeting to discuss it.

Celeste & I (Taja) are founders, yes.  We are admin, and club secretaries, yes. But we never intended to be the decision makers & rule givers.  Every rule that has been added, or changed, was a club decision among then-current members.


Women's Book Club in Bakersfield, CA | Established Sept.2013

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