Interview by Jennifer Joyce
Where, and how often, do you meet?
Book Club at Mim’s is held at a gorgeous vintage café called Mim’s Café and Coffee Bar in Bridgtown in Cannock, Staffordshire. We meet every four weeks on a Thursday evening towards the end of each month and on a Tuesday morning at the beginning of the month. The group came about when someone tagged me in a FB group, where a lady called Mim had posted that she had a café and would love to hold a book club but didn’t know where to start. I contacted Mim and we met up, had a cuppa and talked about our thoughts about the type of book club that we’d love to hold. We put dates in the diary and Book Club at Mim’s was launched in September 2015.
We’ve juggled with the daytime group as it’s not so busy as the nighttime so we have decided just to run evenings only in 2017.
What’s been lovely is that some people have said how much our book club has changed their lives. It’s a great place to meet up with people who have the same interests and we’ve made some amazing friends. We have lots of very passionate people who just adore reading books.
How do you decide what you’re going to read?
When we set up the book club, we took a decision not to have a book that we all read. All the people that come along are busy but love reading so we didn’t want to insist on a book. I also know so many people who dread going to their next book club meeting as they didn’t enjoy or hadn’t read the book. We also realised that if we read a book a month, we’d only discuss 12 books. We also wanted people to be able to come along when they can, so people can jump in and out if they’d like to.
We go round the room and get our journals out going through the list of books we’ve read since the last time we met. That way we talk about between 75-100 books and sometimes more each meet up. There is lots of frantic phone activity and books ordered before you can say Amazon!
What are you currently reading?
Angela Marsons is coming along to book club on 6th December (daytime event). Most of the group are making sure that they are up to date with her Kim Stone series.
Do you have drinks/snacks at your meetings (tea or wine, cakes or savoury)?
We have a pot of tea or a coffee, and Mim (the owner of the café) makes the most delicious cakes. You can’t have book club without cake! She takes orders before the evening for those who want jacket potatoes or toasties before the meeting starts!
What are your top tips for running a successful book group?
We all respect each other enough so that when people are talking about what we’ve read, we listen and don’t go off and have different conversations. That can be difficult when there are a lot of people in a room together.
We have really enjoyed having guest authors at our book club. We follow the normal format of chatting about what we read then we have another drink and some of Mim’s fabulous cakes and then the guest author chats about their books and their author journey.
We’ve been really lucky to get some big named authors along including Miranda Dickinson, Mark Edwards, and the fabulous Cathy Bramley is holding her launch of White Lies and Wishes on 26th January 2017. Can’t wait!
Thank you, Kim. We love the sound of your book club.