Seaside Book Club –
Why Book Club?
Inspired by a visit to an Independent Magazine Publisher’s conference at the end of 2016, Sue and I brainstormed ways to not just engage Seaside Magazine’s readers, but to actually connect with them. To make it meaningful, we decided that we had to find a point of connection that really mattered to us, and the thought I kept coming back to was a group with shared interests.
Over the years I have moved many times, to new places, new countries even, and one way I’ve always had success in meeting people is through book clubs. These have ranged from a very erudite group of elderly ladies in Ontario who presented essays each month inspired by their reading, to a library-run group in the east of England, to an offshoot of the Canadian University Women’s Club who managed to get me to work through a section of Homer’s Odyssey before I realized it was going to be a bit too academic for me! I’ve been in book clubs that rotated between members’ houses each month and clubs that met in coffee shops. There has been value in all of them. Creating a Seaside Magazine Book Club then, became an obvious choice.
Teaming up with our local library has been really beneficial. Library Book Club book sets are provided so that members don’t need to buy their own copies, though we know our local book stores will always order in copies if you do want to purchase your own. We also learn a lot by having a librarian at our meetings, helping us find additional titles by the authors, sharing information about upcoming book-related events, and generally being an enthusiastic supporter and knowledgeable resource.
The members of the club are as varied as our community. Although there have been mainly women at the meetings, I know that there are men reading along too! There’s a variety of ages, background and life experiences which is what always creates diverse reactions to our reading material and sparks discussion. I love to learn from those who come along.
Now here we are at the start of 2018 with a whole year of reading behind us and 11 (or more) books in front of us! At our January meeting we will be discussing Jo Walton’s My Real Children. I encourage you to come along to the meeting at Sidney/North Saanich library on January 17 at 6:30 p.m. and share your thoughts, or just to read along with us for your own pleasure. Sign up to our mailing list to stay up-to-date with all information at www.seasidemagazine.ca/book-club.
Book Club Q & A
Q How do you choose the books?
A The book selection is a little down to luck – each month the Sidney/North Saanich Library tries to get hold of a book club set for us to use. Availability is based on demand. So far we have had a choice between several titles each month, and have voted which one to use. Generally this will mean that people can leave the meeting with a copy of next month’s read. Book Club members can suggest titles they would be interested in reading from the VIRL book club sets list:
Q How do you structure the meeting?
A Members bring questions or discussion points with them, written down. These are put in a “hat” and drawn from to keep the discussion going. It leads to diverse questions and no need for anyone to feel self-conscious. The meeting is facilitated by Seaside Magazine’s Deborah and Sidney/North Saanich Library’s Virginia.
Q How do I stay up to date with Book Club happenings?
A Sign up for our mailing list and you’ll get meeting reminders by email. And follow us on Facebook to see everything that’s happening at Seaside Magazine!
We will meet next on Wednesday January 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sidney Library, to discuss My Real Children by Jo Walton.