A Little Bit About Us...
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The Beeston & Chilwell Book Club was formed in 2005 as a result of Gillian volunteering to be 'test subject' for a trainee Life Coach. During the sessions, Gillian realised that one of the many things she wanted to do was to join a book group, but there weren't many in the area and none were open to new members.
Gillian asked a few friends to join and put an advert in a local post office asking potential members to get in touch. Soon after, 6 of us had our inaugural meeting in a living room in Beeston Rylands. Gillian had done plenty of research and had come up with a list of do's and don'ts for successful bookclubs or reading groups, which we all agreed to adopt as our informal constitution (see below).
The following years saw a few people leave and new ones join, maintaining an average membership level of 10-12, although then as now circumstances prevent everyone from attending, and meetings usually have an average of 8 or so. By 2009 the number of enquiries had increased significantly and a second group was formed, with an inaugural meeting in a Beeston pub. As word has spread (or maybe it's all down to Google!) another 3 groups have sprung into being within the last 2 years.
Meetings are either in members' houses in rotation, or sometimes in local pubs. The host or hostess provides drinks and nibbles, although others often contribute. Meetings are usually monthly (although one of the groups opts to meet every 6 weeks) and everyone chooses a book in rotation for discussion the following month. One of the early rules was that the book must be available as a paperback, although with almost everyone now having either a kindle or kindle app this rule may soon be dropped. Some of the groups make a block booking with Beeston library to get sufficient copies in time.
Some groups do not have August meetings due to holidays. In December, we usually have some sort of social event - it might be a retaurant, quiz night or even mulled wine, mince pies and listening to Dylan Thomas reading "A Child's Christmas in Wales" on an old-fashioned record player!
We don't want to be formal but do try to operate within a few basic principles to ensure that it is an enjoyable experience for everyone:
- There is no charge for joining the club, and no costs involved except for books (where purchased) and providing drinks / nibbles if you happen to be the host.
- Ideally books should be available as paperbacks (unless everyone in the group is happy with other formats), easily obtainable and available at a reasonable price.
- Books with a strong political, sexual or religious content should be cleared with other group members first. If someone believes that the content may be offensive then this choice should be abandonned in favour of another.
- Occasionally remarks made during discussions may be taken as offensive or lead to hurt feelings. Please treat others with the same courtesy you would expect to receive yourself.
- Each group will appoint a co-ordinator, who will keep a list of members' names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, to arrange meeting venues, dates and times. Please do not pass fellow members' contact details on to any 3rd parties without their express permission.