For those of us that have been involved in a book club for years know the feeling when a much wanted and respected book club friend leaves the group. It's not because they didn't connect within book club or didn't like the novels that were chosen but your friend had to move away and leave a big gaping hole. Your book friend brought so much to the discussions, abundant amount of laughter and some of the best food and or book picks just moved away.
So what does your reading group do? Obviously, we mourn, shed a few tears and mourn some more until you come to the realization that your friend won't be a regular face at book club anymore. And as the saying goes, 'time heals all wounds' and so your group eventually moves on.
As your crew starts to feel it's groove again and sees the light at the end of the tunnel that is when the hinting and suggesting for a new book friend to replace comes in.
In like Flynn
When it comes to bringing in a new member it seems everyone has someone they want to recommend into the group. With very few openings that come up for vote a lengthy list of potential candidates gathers over time. Names will start being discussed and within a few minutes we make the decision to invite a new friend into our book club. One major stipulation is that we all need to be in agreement over the timing to bring in someone new and if they will be a good fit.
Getting to know you getting to know all about you...
'Initiation' is all in tongue-and-cheek. In our book club it simple starts after dinner and before the start of our book discussion. We introduce the new member to the group and ask them to tell us a little about themselves and share their favorite book(s). By having them share their favorite novels it gives us a unique look into our book friend. Everyone knows that books are a 'window into the soul' and it's fun information! Last, we include the history of our book club name (which comes from a book character of a much loved and admired author) and in the end we truly hope to make a good match that only time can tell!
So long, farewell, Auf Weidersehen, goodbye
to the book friend that moved away
Try these tips to stay in touch:
Keep them in the loop with your book choices. They are probably still feeling the sadness of leaving and reading heals!
Ask them to email thoughts and or text questions if they've read the book
If your book friend really wants to stay connected try FaceTime/Skype during the discussion. For a few minutes have them give some book feedback and insight to the novel that was read.