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Some Tips on Starting a Book Club

Starting a book club with interested friends and acquaintances is fun and easy.  Please first subscribe to this website. Then, to register your club on this site, click on the “start a book club tab” below and fill in the form. You and your members will then have a built-in platform here to privately message your other club members with questions and comments on the materials between your meetings.  There is also the option of “Stella’s Book Club Central,” which is open to questions and comments (as much as I can manage!) from all subscribers.

If you’ve never started a book club before, continue reading below for tips.

Who and What?  Invite friendly people who would be interested in learning about the thesis of the weaponization of loneliness.  Here’s a sample invitation:

“Hi, _______!  Would you like to join me and some other folks to form a book club to learn about the ways loneliness and isolation are used to divide and control people? It will be based on the book The Weaponization of Loneliness by Stella Morabito.  The club is going to dive into her book first, and then look at other books, as well as articles, documentaries, and movies related to the theme. Here’s a link to the website that will help you get more familiar with the project.  I hope you can join us!”

If you’re searching for local members, you can start a club on this website and designate it as “private" listing, but be sure it's visible to subscribers.  Please list only the county and state where you expect to meet. That will give registered visitors to this site the option to “request to join” your club and introduce themselves to the leader who can then contact them and get acquainted. Once you’ve reached your limit of members, you can then change from "visible" to "hidden," if you like.

How many people? I believe book clubs work best with 8-10 people, sometimes less and sometimes more, depending on level of commitment and expected absences.  The leader should make sure everyone has a chance to participate and that the conversation doesn’t get monopolized by just one or two people.

Where to meet?  Enthusiastic leaders might be happy to host in their home for all meetings.  Some clubs prefer to rotate hosting duties.  Others will reserve a meeting room at their local library or other place such as a community center or café. 

When to meet?  You decide the best times as well as the frequency of meetings.  Most clubs meet once a month. If you decide on a 12-month commitment, that will allow you to get through The Weaponization of Loneliness and the eight most relevant books to the theme.  There will also be recommended movies and documentaries and articles that supplement the readings.  Beyond 12 months will allow you an even deeper dive.  There are scores of multi-media materials related to this topic.

Zoom option?  Ideally, people will meet in person, but your club might like to include a Zoom option when or if this isn’t possible.

Structure:  You will find a guide to each session published on this website under the sub-tab “Guide to Sessions.” Each session will feature a brief summary and three or four study questions for discussion, as well as a few optional supplementary materials such as movie clips. The first four sessions will delve into the primary book, The Weaponization of Loneliness. If your club would like to condense your study of that book into fewer sessions, just make sure you allow enough time to cover the material. In any case, other materials will be introduced with the designation "fifth session."

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