“It is very important to have a set of rules, even if they break down over time,” says David Pedlow, a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in England who has done many ethnographies for book collections. Make your guidelines answer basic questions: What type of books will you read? How will books be selected? Beblue believes literature and literary memoirs tend to push the most interactive conversations.
You will need about seven or eight people at each meeting. “Less, and everyone has to say a lot,” says Peplow. To ensure a quorum is complete, your total group size should be between 10 and 12. Start meetings by going around the room, allowing each person to share some interaction with reading. Rotate which book picks. Peplow groups were studying all mixed sexes. They met in a variety of languages, including bars, houses and libraries. Most of the meetings included alcohol and food. “There’s nothing wrong with lubricating little conversation wheels,” says Pebble. Meetings should last about two hours. Aiming to spend at least 45 minutes of that time in the discussion book. To avoid authorization in all socialization not related to the book, invite some people who are not fast friends. Consider including a few types of devil advocates, or at least those who have different tastes. “You can get better discussions when people differ strongly,” says Peplow.
Do not try to speak like an English professor (unless of course, you are the one). Non-academic reading allows you to experience literature in an emotionally raw way, enabling you to integrate real life with text (literary theorists call it “simulated reading”). The collection of books can become a form of group therapy, a way in which readers can collectively address their lives. When Beblow asked readers why they joined a group of books in individual interviews, many said they wanted to talk to others about books. But when he read the texts from dozens of hours of group meetings recorded, it became clear that they were struggling to understand themselves more deeply. “Reading and talking about fantasy gives people a way to handle things that have happened in their lives in a relatively safe place,” says Peplow.