Book Clubs

Super Science Book Club

Here’s a fun book club idea for kids. Rediscovered Books in Boise, ID, partnered with the Discovery Center of Idaho to present a monthly “Nick and Tesla’s Super Science Book Club.” One afternoon each month, the group meets at the Discovery Center for a 30 minute discussion of a book from the Nick and Tesla science series followed by a science demonstration and experiment relating to the book. For $18, each ticket holder receives a copy of the book, admission to the center, a science kit to take home, and participation in the in-class experiment.

Super-Science-BookClub-poster

Rediscovered Books is owned by Laura and Bruce DeLaney, but Bruce was quick to give credit for the book club partnership idea and all of the legwork involved to others on the Rediscovered Books team, Jamie Schildkneckt and Erin Nelson.

Rediscovered Books marketed the event through their kids newsletter and combined their marketing efforts with those at the Discovery Center. Although posters promoting the joint event can be seen all over town, they were careful about over-marketing because space is limited to 25 kids.

This isn’t the first time Rediscovered Books has partnered with the Discovery Center. In fact, the center recently held a robot battle at the bookstore. “Since my wife and I opened the bookstore, we’ve always tried to exist outside of our physical space,” DeLaney told me. “We don’t just want to sell stuff, we want to make connections and build bridges in the community. We want to get people excited about reading.”

The Discovery Center and the bookstore share a similar mission and are both hands-on. The director of education at the Discovery Center will lead the book club and bookstore staff will be on hand.

DeLaney said that if these first sessions are successful, they’ll look at potentially scheduling an event each quarter. “We’ve committed to 3 months, and after that, we’ll sit down and evaluate.”

Book Club Newsletter

I recently requested to be added to your bookstore newsletter subscriber list. (I’d still like to be added if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet.) Yesterday I received a newsletter specificially for book clubs from R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT.

The newsletter is compiled by book club coordinator Sue Moretti and distributed monthly via email. I like the way Moretti includes opportunites to skype with an author, timely articles, new release options for book clubs, monthly events, their cookbook club selection, announcements regarding their in-store book clubs, and a chance to register any out-of-store book clubs.

Click here if you’d like to see the online version of their book club newsletter.

New in Paperback for the Week of March 31

Fiction

Non-fiction

Brookline Booksmith offers Small Press Book Club

Themed book clubs are a great way to reach out to a new audience of readers and loyal customers. Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, started a Small Press Book Club in September 2013.

“I wanted to start the book club as a way of highlighting books published by smaller and independent presses that don’t have the big publicity budgets of the larger houses, and to read off the bestseller lists a bit,” Natasha Gilmore told me. Gilmore is the leader of the group as well as buyer for the store. “‘We have a core group of 6-10 people that come regularly but new people show up each time.”

The group meets monthly, and so far their selections have included:

  • Speedboat by Renata Adler
  • The Pushcart Prize anthology
  • Self Unstable by Elisa Gabbert
  • The Fata Morgana Books by Jonathan Littell
  • Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
  • Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm (reprinted by Melville House)
  • The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell

“It’s been really fun, and we’ve gotten some really interesting conversations,” said Gilmore.

By selecting a title for a book club, you’re handselling in a way that reaches far beyond the one-on-one book recommendation. Readers often share in conversation what their respective groups are reading, so book club selections receive extra word-of-mouth promotion.

Gilmore likes giving these titles a boost. “We’re able to draw attention to books that–as a bookseller–I would have unfortunately seen go unnoticed before.”

Book Club Wednesday: New Releases for the Week of March 24

A popular book club type is the Mother/Daughter Book Club, and a new paperback this week that would be perfect for this type of book club is Lifesaving Lessons: Notes from an Accidental Mother by Linda Greenlaw. Greenlaw is best known for her books, The Lobster ChroniclesSeaworthy, and The Hungry Ocean. She is a survivor of the real Perfect Storm, but that didn’t prepare her for the force of nature that is fifteen-year-old Mariah. Lifesaving Lessons is Greenlaw’s memoir as she recounts her journey of becoming a mother to a troubled teenage girl.

Connect with Greenlaw through Facebook and Twitter or find more information on this and all of her books through her website.

Other releases this week include: