Nora St. Laurent is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated and runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
Kira's Cottage Book Club
I first met Kira when we spoke at a conference downtown Atlanta this past January. We were talking about my favorite topic: book clubs. Kira is the owner of Kira’s Cottage in Franklin, Indiana, and for a few years she has run a book club out of her store, where the meetings are held once a month.
We spoke to bookstore owners, encouraging them to start a book club in their stores or sponsor a book club and encourage them to hold meetings inside their stores.
When I sent these questions to Kira, I had no idea (and either did she) that her store would soon be closing. It’s happening all over the country. Borders bookstores closed hundreds of their stores and Barnes & Noble is in trouble as well. The bookstore I work at downsized last year. The economy is tough, gas prices are high, and many people are shopping online. I’m not sure how long bookstores will remain open, but one thing I am certain of is that book clubs are here to stay. They can be held everywhere and the desire to share with others about great books will always be there. Without further delay, here’s Kira.
What lead up to your starting a book club? Were you ever part of a book club before? What’s your club name?
I started our book club, Beyond the Book, because I was trying to market our store, Kira’s Cottage Christian Store. I love to read and thought it would be awesome for a group of book lovers to come together and fellowship while discussing awesome Christian books! I had never been a part of a book club before, so it was all new to me.
What does your typical meeting look like?
Well, we always eat. Food is very important! We have an entire month to read the book, then we get together and discuss how it made us feel. Usually the one who picked the book for the month will lead the discussion with questions and why they felt the book was important or discussion worthy to them. It goes from there.
Please describe to me how the book selection process works for your club? Do you vote with a secret ballet? Or some other method?
We rotate who picks the book each month. At the end of the year, we do a big drawing on who will pick the book each month of the following year. We read fiction and nonfiction, so it is nice to give everyone the opportunity to pick their favorite genre!
The duties are shared in your group so the task of leading is not overwhelming. How does that work?
I am the official leader, however, whoever picks the book for the month leads the discussion if she feels inclined to. It helps to see why she chose the book and what it meant to her.
Does your book club socialize outside of your regular meetings? If so, what have you done that you all enjoyed?
Some of us are together all the time because we are besties … we all love movie nights and themed nights. I love it when we read a book that is a movie too … it works out great!
What have you read at a book club recently that really touched everyone’s heart and created good discussion?
For the answer to this question and so much more go to Finding Hope Through Fiction’s blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com.
Exciting news for this month at The Book Club Network, eight Christian authors from Australia will be having a huge ebook giveaway from July 19 – 21. Everyone throughout the world will be available to join in the contest!
Along with that we have Rare Earth by Davis Bunn, Finally the Bride by Cheryl McKay Price, Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green, A Plain Death by Amanda Flowers, Veil of Pearls by MaryLe Tyndall, Angie Breidenback and her new book, along with Diane and David Muson. I’m also working on a few more for July. Join in the book fun today at TBCN (www.bookfun.org).
Until Next time
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