If you don’t know what this is, this post might help.
Any good book club needs two things: book choosing theory and execution theory. The book choosing theory for this one is super simple: choose a favorite book you want to share. The execution theory (or rules, if you like) is a little more complicated because the books we love are often intimate parts of our makeup. First and foremost, this type of book club is about preserving or growing friendships. However, when you love something so passionately, it can be really hard to hear someone doesn’t like it. So, the execution theory is built to be pretty simple:
- Be gentle.
- Be honest.
- Be thorough.
- Be descriptive.
- Be kind.
- Be fair.
If I may elaborate on all these:
- Don’t attack persons or books. If you hated a book, don’t rag on the person who brought it to the group. Remember, this book has been their friend possibly longer than they’ve been your friend.
- Don’t pretend to like something you don’t like. Even white lies, when discovered, hurt.
- Mention things you didn’t like AND things you liked. Go ahead and dislike a book! Go ahead and love it! But you’re a reader – you can find things you liked or disliked and often times people come to love books more when they hear other people’s perspectives.
- All books presented to the group should come with a short description and trigger warnings. I know trigger warnings were recently a HUGE discussion that had a good many opinions aired, but the first theory of TFBBC is that it’s for people to have fun. Trigger warnings are one of the tools that will help with that goal.
- Any member choosing to exempt themselves from reading at any time is not to be hounded or pressured to read/finish the book. Books are awesome. No book is so awesome it supersedes the needs of a person.
- Everyone who wants one gets a chance to share a favorite of theirs before someone gets a second chance (or third or fourth).
These were written for the friends with whom I’m starting the TFBBC (though, I’ll admit they probably were unnecessary – my friends are awesome). But if there’s anyone out there who wants to start their own TFBBC (and PLEASE DO), these are the basic tenants of this sort of book club. It’s about sharing something really special and intimate. It can be intimidating to recommend your best book friends to your human friends. So, the rules are all about creating a safe space to share both the books and yourself without having to worry. Have fun. Get to know people. And find new (book and people) friends. Okay?
[><] & [::]