What is the book club?
The book club is one of the regular events organized by Connect. As the name suggests, we read and discuss books. We meet once a month, usually in someone’s home. For this reason, attendance has to be limited. We currently are split into four groups. Due to Covid, some of our groups have been meeting online.
Are there any costs?
Connect is an eingetragener Verein (e.V.). We do not charge for our events. Of course, in a book club you will probably be buying books. The club has low expenses so we have stopped asking for paid memberships. But there may be a piggy bank sometimes at the Thursday Stammtisch. Please also support other Connect events with your attendance.
What happens at the book club?
You are expected to be prompt. Usually people get a snack and a drink and greet each other. The different groups may have there own procedures. But typically if there are new faces, there will be a short round of self introductions. The discussion may also begin by having another go around so that everyone gets a chance to say whether they liked the book and give their impressions without too many interruptions.
The book discussion is a free ranging, but the moderator will try to keep it centered on the book. Sometime there may be some business such as picking new books or planning future meetings. When the business is over, we just talk and relax until we get tired or the host kicks us out.
What language do we speak at the meeting?
Connect events are in English. Many of us also speak German and no one will scold you for speaking some other language.
What kinds of books do you read?
Most of our books are fiction, novels. You can see a list of previously read books at this link to get an impression. The book should be available in paperback and it must be available in English. This does not mean you have to read the book in English. You may even prefer audio books.
Normally the book should not be longer than what one could comfortably read in a month, perhaps 400 pages. But we may read longer books when there are breaks such as over December or in the Summer.
The most important thing about the book is that it should provoke conversation. There may be good books that you enjoy reading, but that just don’t provide fodder for discussion. Sometimes the members have disliked some of the books we have read. But in spite of this we have had very interesting discussions.
How do you choose your books?
Each group decides itself. Suggestions may be sent to the group leader and perhaps a “doodle” is used to pick which ones we actually read.
How do I join the book club?
Just send an e-mail. Information is on the contact page. You should receive an e-mail containing a sign-up link for WordPress. Fill in the required information and then login. Navigate to your Book Club profile page and select which groups you wish to be invited to. There are four groups. (You can join all four if you like.)
How will I know what books we are reading?
Please visit the “forthcoming books” web page. The books for your group(s) will also be listed on your Book Club profile page and this will be a more complete list because some results may be filtered on the general page.
How will I know where the meeting is?
Meeting arrangements may be somewhat “last minute”. Once everything about the meeting is organized, an RSVP page is created. You will get an e-mail with all the information. There will also be a link to the RSVP from your profile page. The goal is that the information is sent out at least a week prior to the event.
Can I just show up?
Seating is limited. We welcome everyone, but we ask you to reserve a seat using the RSVP web page. There is a link in the e-mail invitation and usually you should be able to just click on it if you are connected to the internet.
What happens if I see that I’m on the waiting list?
You wait. And hope. Usually people drop out. It is also important that if you aren’t on a waiting list and you drop out, that you unregister on the web page so that someone else can get the seat. You should get an automatic e-mail if you are taken off the waiting list, but the RSVP page has the most reliable information.
How do I leave the book club?
There are two options. On your profile page you can set your status to “Not active”. This requires no action on our part and you are free to set yourself back to active whenever you like. You will not receive invitations while you are inactive. If you want to have your profile removed, you will need to send an e-mail.
How private is my data?
We try to protect your privacy, the book club e-mail list is only used for the book club. The invitations are generated individually so no one else sees your e-mail address. But I don’t want to promise that there will never be any slip ups. Other people in your group will see your name when an event is scheduled. We are not anonymous. We meet in people’s homes. We are friends.
If you have an further questions, please contact us.
What software are you using?
One of our members (Jon) originally developed a stand-alone PHP application. This has been rewritten as a WordPress plugin. The code is still in active development and is still somewhat specialized for Connect. But it is being generalized and will eventually be published (probably on Github). Plans are to make it available from the WordPress plugin page. Anyone interested can get a copy. It is offered under the MIT license for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).