Sunday, October 26, 2008

Klang Valley Book / Reading Group / Club

Hello fellow booklovers!

Is anyone in the Klang Valley interested in joining a 'real life' book group?

I've gone to book group gathering after gathering, hoping to meet with like-minded people whom I could have meaningful and thought-provoking book discussions with, only to meet people who talk about everything except books instead!

I joined countless online book groups, desperate to find people with whom I could connect online at least, if I couldn't find them in real life, but there were too many faceless, nameless people and too many posts that no one bothered to read unless it was in response to their own posts.

I despaired of ever finding any physical book groups around here, because what little book groups there are are usually filled with people who are more interested in socializing than in talking about books. They spend five minutes talking about books and then three hours talking about everything else under the sun!

I've almost given up ever finding the ideal book group...

Except now I've decided that if I can't find one, I'm going to start one.

I'm sure there must be some booklovers like me out there who want the same things I do in a book group, so I'm calling for booklovers who are interested in joining my book group!

I'm looking for ten booklovers; five men and four women to start this off with. I'm already one, and I was thinking that we should start small so that it's easier to manage. We'll see how it goes, and add more people later if there's more people interested.

I want an equal number of men and women because I don't want it to turn into a female gossip fest, and men can have a lot of interesting insights to share as well.

Here's what I'm looking for in ideal book group members:

  • Obviously, you must be a Klang Valley resident, unless you really don't mind travelling long distances once every month.

  • Able to meet one day/night a month. I'm a busy person too, and it's just one day a month. If you are truly interested in this, once a month shouldn't be too hard to arrange. Of course, occasionally things come up, I understand, but you should be able to be there the majority of the time.

  • Outgoing members should be able to share and discuss without dominating the whole discussion and not giving others a chance to have their say. Shy members need to speak up and realize they have valuable opinions as well.

  • Able to share their opinions openly while being respectful of others' opinions. No one should feel unable to share their thoughts in the fear that someone else may ridicule them or react in any non-constructive negative way.

  • Open-minded and adventurous in our reading selection and discussions. I want to be open to all genres of books that could be great reads and thought-provoking books, including non-fiction once in a while.

  • Willing to expand the boundaries of their own thoughts and explore other ideas and ways of thinking.

  • Genuinely interested in stimulating conversation and intellectual growth through reading and book discussions.

Well, these are the main stuff, the other details like what books to read, where to meet, when to meet, etc. will be discussed as a group, since it depends on the convenience of everyone.

I would like to say also, after having listed my 'criteria' above, that I'm a pretty understanding person, and more of a 'guideline' person than a 'rule' person. As I've said, it's ok if you can't make a meeting once in a while, it's also ok if you don't want to participate in reading a particular book occasionally, and it's definitely more than ok to socialize and talk about non-book-related stuff before and after our discussions.

Having said that, let me emphasize that I am SERIOUS about having a PROPER book group. If anyone talks too much and doesn't allow others to speak, I will call them on it. If anyone doesn't talk at all and just let others contribute all the time, I will call them on it. If anyone chooses not to participate for too many books too often, I will call them on it. If anyone misses too many meetings, I will call them on it. If anyone won't stop talking about their bad day even if it's time for the discussion to start, I will call them on it.

Basically, if anyone's not serious about learning and sharing as a book group member, they shouldn't bother joining this group at all.

So... if you're genuinely interested in joining this book group, please send me an email at with some details about yourself, like your;

Some of your favorite books:
Genres you read:

And please tell me a little about;

Why do you want to join this group?
What do you think you can contribute to this group?
What do you want to get out of this group?
Name one book which changed/affected you deeply, why and how did it affect you?

I'm really looking forward to making this book group a reality and a success. I'm sure there are at least nine other people in the whole of Klang Valley who must be interested in a proper book group as well. Please do email me if you're interested, or forward this to your book-loving friends if you're not.

Thanks to all!

Happy Reading!

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