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Participation is required by our members to make this club fun. We had very low participation for a while and the club became less fun for everyone. The whole point is our shared love of reading.

Bookclub is essentially two major things: Reading & Discussing. If you are not a big reader, or you don’t like to socialize on the subject of books, then bookclub is probably not for you.

In order to keep this club fun for the group, we have set a minimum requirement for participation.

So what if you know you have a bunch of stuff going on and you can’t meet your obligation? You can take a Leave of Absence.


Participation is broken down to 3 points:

  1. Meeting Attendance
  2. Online Presence (Goodreads)
  3. Reading Progress

If you don’t come to meetings, and you don’t go onto Goodreads, we won’t even know that you have picked up the book that month. Failure to socialize in ANY way for over 2 months might result in your spot being opened up to potential new members. We do not wish to “kick you out” or anything, but in this scenario – we might not even know for sure if you haven’t quit on us. It wouldn’t be the first time a member has quit in this fashion and us not realize it until months later.

1) Meeting Attendance

You must come to each meeting to discuss the book, otherwise what’s the point? The whole decision to read as a group falls apart if we are never together to talk about it.

We are pretty relaxed about tardiness if you can’t come on time.  We have halted meeting commencement for members up to 30 minutes late without issue.  We don’t want you to make it a habbit, of course, but late is better than absent.

RSVPs are mandatory.  The RSVP option is open on the Goodreads Club Events page until 30 minutes after the meeting begins.  It is helpful for hosts to know how many people they need to setup for.

You have a member obligation to make it to 6 of the 12 months of the year without missing more than 2 months consecutively.  If you miss a 3rd month in a row, your spot might be opened up to new potential members.

If you know ahead of time that you cannot come for a few months, we allow member Leave of Absence for unavoidable life situations.


2) Online Presence

If you cannot come to a meeting due to work or other obligations then you can also use the Goodreads site to discuss the book instead. That way, at least we know if you have read anything or not. And you can always discuss the book online with members in lieu of attending that month.

Just update your reading status by the month’s end with your completed progress. If you have finished the book that month, then just pop a review up telling us why you liked or disliked it along with maybe a star rating. You can also use the discussion forum to add talking points if you wish to discuss with members directly.

We do accept discussion online in lieu of attending a meeting, but we still encourage all members to try to make a habit of using Goodreads regularly to update their reading progress, discussing the books, etc.

Book Polls are put up each month for voting on the next book to read.

If you don’t care which book is selected, there is an option for “I don’t care” which you can choose.  We do not dock you for missing polls, but it helps us to know that you are still interested in the club in case you become less active.

3) Reading Progress

You must at least try the book selection each month. We have set a minimum page requirement of at least 15% of the book before quitting if you decide you don’t like the book or genre. Since we have decided not to read any book over 700 pages, then the minimum page requirement won’t go over 105 pages minimum each month. Anyone who considers themself enough of a book nerd to join a book club should not find this a difficult task.

If you have a situation in which you know you probably won’t be able to read for a while, please let us know on the goodreads site. Otherwise, failure to read ANY of the book for more than 2 months might result in your spot being opened up to potential new members. This is not because we wish to be strict and kick anyone out, but so that the remaining members don’t find themselves as the only ones reading…which had happened on occasion when the club first began resulting in members quitting due to lack of interest.

The reading requirements are very slim if you consider overall effort needed to get 100% each month.  With such little required, we have seen a huge upturn of participation and therefor, of overall excitement each meeting.  When we have meetings where no one even picks up the book, and one member finishes it, it leave the one member feeling irritated and over involved.  When you can read the minimum, you at least know that you don’t like it, why you don’t like it, examples, etc. which allows you to participate in the debate and doesn’t leave anyone out of the discussion.


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

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