BLOG: A different kind of book club

Tom Jackson
Feb 10, 2012

 

I've posted about books many times on this blog. So it's probably not a surprise when I mention I've been in a number of book discussion groups over the years.

Most of these book groups are organized in one of two ways, both of which involve dictating what the members will read. Usually the sponsoring organization (such as a library) or the group's leader will pick the "homework assignment" for everyone else. Or the members themselves will vote on which book to read.

The Omni Book Club, organized in 2009 by Laura Nemeth, the Sandusky Register's marketing manager, and Marian Hancy, a retired high school English teacher in Huron, follows a different model.

The members sit around the table at a public meeting room and take turns describing what they've read in the past month.

That's a system that allows members to read what they please, but also exposes the others to books they might never have considered reading.

And although there's no pressure, it's not unusual for a particular title, over the months, to wend its way through the group. Many if not most of Omni Book Club's members have read "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls.

After I described "The Secret Life of Eva Hathaway" by Janice Weber, and read one or two sentences capturing the book's scathing style, several club members read it.

After each meeting, every title brought up during the discussion is listed in a post in the book club's blog 

When I took a trip about a year ago and had dinner with some old friends in Lawton, Oklahoma, I told them about the book club. They then formed a sister club in Lawton. Another sister club is being discussed in Seattle, Wash. 

The Omni Book Club offers a model for democratic book club meetings that allow everyone to have a say in the discussion.

 

Comments

Kottage Kat

Excellent read,  A Secret Gift" by Ted Gup.  True story that takes place in Canton, OH.

I prefer the more structured Book Discussion.  Everyone on the same page as it were.  I belong to the one at the Milan Public Library, and it is informal, and has some pretty lively discussions,

Kat

Lynn222

Please, if you can, repost the link to the blog,  Thanks!

Tom Jackson

 Sorry about that, Lynn222. It's fixed now.

Tom

Lynn222

Thank you!

Kottage Kat

Thanks for the link, thought I would see some realitivly new books. Although some good reads to add to my list.      Kat