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One Drink Minimum Book Club of Princeton Pages

Hello Book Readers!

I'm so glad you've found the One Drink Minimum Book Club of Princeton! This club started in 2008, and has been meeting every month since, thanks in large part to the enthusiasm and support of our members.

As the Organizer of this group, I love to hear feedback about what you want out of a book club. However, like many Meetup organizers, running this club is not my full time job, and I get many emails a week asking questions and offering suggestions about the operation of the club. Thus, I wanted to prepare this helpful FAQ that might answer many of your questions. However, if you don't find the answer to your query here, please feel free to drop me a line through this site, and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can!


1) Where and when do you meet?

Our Meetup group meets monthly at different restaurants in the Princeton area. The restaurant is often chosen to tie in with the theme of the book we are reading. Out of respect to our host restaurant, to whom I try to provide accurate headcount, I will usually post the location the week before the Meetup, and generally not before. Please check back the week of the Meetup to find the location.

The meetings are most commonly held on the first Monday and Wednesday of each month - however, that is subject to change due to holidays and other considerations. The best way to find this out is to check back here to see the Upcoming Meetups - I try to post 2 to 3 months in advance.

2) Do I have to attend both Monday and Wednesday?

NO! You just pick the night that works better for you and attend only that one. When the club first started, we had very few members, and were able to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend on one night. However, as the club grew, the numbers grew too large to hold a productive discussion where everyone could participate. Thus, we decided to host two separate nights for each book, and limit the attendance to 15 people per night. In the event that I get overwhelming interest in a book, I may consider a third night, but two is already quite the commitment!

3) Why do you charge $1.00 to attend the Meetup?

As many of you know, Meetup charges money to maintain this website. The website dues average out to about $20 a month. While that may not seem like a lot, over time it adds up. Thus, in order to defray the website cost, I ask that each person who attends contribute one dollar to me in person at the beginning of the night, which goes into club reserve. Whatever I have left over after we pay club expenses usually gets paid back to the members in some way - most commonly in the form of wine/beer when we host a club meeting at a BYOB during the course of the year.

4) Do I have to drink at least one alcoholic drink?

Of course not! You are free to enjoy any drink, or no drink, as you so choose. The name is really just fun and catchy, and expresses the idea that we want this book club to be casual, a discussion rather than a formal classroom. Milk, water, beer, juice, wine,'s all up to you.

5) Does everyone eat dinner at these restaurants?

It's entirely up to you. Because it is a social meeting at a restaurant, the majority of people order something, whether it be beverage, an appetizer, dinner or dessert. There is no requirement that you do so, but please remember that our hosts are local area restaurants who are seating us with the understanding that we will order something. If the majority of people do not make it worth it for them financially, we will be unlikely to be able to take up that prime table space in the future. Plus, I try my best to find fun, new locations with interesting cuisine. Just like a book can introduce you to a new world you didn't know about, our recent Meetups have introduced many members to cuisines from Korea, Sicily, Russia, Thailand, and many other places they had never tried before.

6) I tried to RSVP to an Upcoming Meetup, but it said the RSVPs are closed. Why?

Like many Meetup groups, especially ones who do not charge in advance to reserve a spot, we often have people RSVP and then fail to attend without updating that RSVP. In many instances, that takes a spot away from people who really want to attend, but couldn't because the event was full. It also causes friction at restaurants who reserve large tables and waitstaff for us, only to have a smaller than expected turnout. I have found that this happens significantly less frequently when I only open the RSVPs up for a short period of time before the event. Thus, RSVPs for all meetups open 30 days before the date of the Meetup. There is also an automatic waiting list - if you are on the waitlist, and someone changes their RSVP to no, the next person on the waitlist will automatically be included on the confirmed yes list.

6) Is there a penalty for not showing up?

For the time being, I have not been instituting a penalty for no shows, but I have been keeping track of them. If I notice that you are a repeat no show, I will use my discretion to drop you from the club.

7) Who chooses the books each month and how?

As Organizer, I ultimately choose the books we will read, but I take the members' preferences into account. I welcome feedback on the types of books you might want to read, and also the kinds you want to avoid, and am always open to book suggestions. I also sometimes allow people to vote from a series of choices in a poll. As a general rule, the books we choose have to meet the following criteria: They must be under 400 pages long, and available at local libraries, in paperback, and preferably in e-book form. I also attempt to find books that breed deeper discussions, which occasionally means that we forego the top books from the best seller's list, and find books we wouldn't otherwise read or know about. We try to do a mix of genres, from fiction to non-fiction, mystery to sci-fi to romance to classics. We have read Young Adult Novels and plays and short stories. Anything is possible if the group is interested. Occasionally I will create a "theme" for the year, and choose books in that theme. Past themes have included monthly holidays, Around the World, and novels through the decades.

8) Can we read [insert your favorite book here]?

Maybe. You'll have to email me and I'll take it under consideration (see #7 above).

9) Can we meet at [your house, your local library, your office]?

The point of the club is to have a social evening out at a restaurant while discussing a book with friends. While I understand at the restaurants can be crowded and loud, and do not provide library or living room caliber locations for discussions, as a matter of security, this club works best if we meet at a public place. I do invite you to make friends with your fellow book clubbers, however, and foster those friendships outside the club in whatever manner you choose!

10) What is the average age of this group?

It varies! Different books attract different people, but our regulars range from 20's to 60's, with the occasional teenager or octogenarian thrown it. Whatever your age, you won't be out of place.

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About One Drink Minimum Book Club of Princeton November 4, 2015 4:43 PM Deepa Z.

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