How Does It Work?
The meetings begin with every person in the group getting a chance to give a brief, (up to 3 minutes, if you want), uninterrupted report of how they felt about the book. (You don’t have to partake in this part if you don’t want to, but it’s a nice opportunity to introduce some of your ideas to expand on in the next part).
The next part is more conversational, where people are free to jump in with their own opinions, as various points of the book are brought up and discussed. You will find that there are often widely varying views on every book we discuss, which of course makes for interesting discussion!
The final part of the meeting is where we choose which title to read for an upcoming meeting. We are very open to suggestions for titles to read.....especially from new members. Our only requirement is that the book have some gay connection. Also during this time, we welcome members to make announcements about events or other goings-on that the group might be interested in.
Is It Required to Attend Every Meeting?
No, of course not. It’s a book group, not the National Guard. We all lead busy lives, and certain months some members can’t make it, or may not have time to read a whole book for that month. We understand. We’re always here, though, for when you do have the time. (And once you join, you may find you don’t ever want to miss a meeting!).
Do I Need to be “Out of the Closet” to attend the Book Group?
It really doesn’t matter; that’s your business. We’re not here to judge your level of “outness” . Some people have questions about how private our group is, (like, “will someone from my neighborhood / church / synagogue / job / air force battalion see me at the book group?”. Well, here's the situation: even though we do meet in a public place, we still have somewhat of a private space, and there’s no sign overhead pointing out that this is a “GAY MEN’S BOOK GROUP”, so, chances are, even if someone did happen to spot you there, it’s unlikely you’d be “outed”. But ultimately, you'll have to assess the situation for yourself.
How do you guys choose which books the group is going to read?
Very democratically. For the last portion of each book group meeting, we open the floor for members to introduce “candidates” for possible selection for future months’ reading material. Books are passed around, and everyone in attendance has a chance to look over each “candidate” book. Then, we vote. The “candidate” books are held up individually, and each person gets to cast one vote for their favorite pick. The book with the most votes becomes our selection for a future month, (we often pick 2 to 3 months in advance, so the books can be listed on the website, and also be there at the store for members to pick up the night of the meeting prior to the month that book is being read). We are ALWAYS open to anyone in the group bringing suggestions/ “candidate” books for possible selection. However, there are 2 rules to keep in mind:
It MUST fall into the parameters of what we consider a “gay book”.
You MUST have a physical copy of the book WITH YOU that day for it to be considered. Even if you think it is a spectacular book, we cannot consider it if all you’ve brought with you is a printed-out Amazon review, or, worse yet, just your own word-of-mouth recommendation. We need to actually SEE the book… members often base their vote on things such as page count, cover blurbs, text size….and also, some members just like to look over a book before voting on it.
How Else Can I Get Involved In the Book Group?
Join our online group! We have a Meetup group that allows members and prospective members to stay in touch between meetings, discuss books, and find out more about the group. Just click on it to subscribe to the group, (it’s FREE!).