I’ve been a member of my local acim author for almost 4 years now and it has introduced me to some wonderful books, but more importantly some wonderful people. It’s something I do for myself and I look forward to our gatherings every month.
As a group we’ve found it difficult to keep track of the books we’ve read in the past and the ratings we’ve given each title. We’ve tried keeping a little diary, but it’s limited because only one person keeps it and the rest don’t have access to it for most of the month. We’ve also found that as members leave and new members join, it’s hard not to lose information in the process. Recently, I found a solution to our problem, and a free one at that!
As a book club we decided to create our own online group that is private and free to set-up. The online group allows us to post a discussion for every book we read and leave individual comments. You can also share links to additional information on the books you’ve read (e.g. author websites, book group questions, book reviews etc). So far the group site has been a hit. We’re really enjoying the freedom and simplicity of having all of our book group information in the one place. In light of this, I thought I’d share with you how to set-up your own reading group page.
There are probably many sites that can facilitate your reading group, but the site I’m recommending is called Reading Habit Community. It’s a relatively new site, but it’s targeted at book lovers so there are lots of ancillary benefits to joining the site other than just setting up your book club page. Plus, the site is free to join, so there are no overheads for your group. What follows is a step-by-step guide to creating your own reading group page.
Step 1 – Join the Reading Habit Community Network
Open the Reading Habit Community home page. You can find the web address for the page in the Resources Box at the bottom of the article. Once the page is loaded make sure to add it to your browser favourites so that it’s easy to find when you need to return to it. On the right hand side of the page you’ll see the words SIGN UP. Click on these words and complete the sign up page. You’ll need to provide an email address and a password.
Once you’ve completed this page an email will be sent to your email address. You need to open this email and click on the verification link. A profile page will open up. This is where you need to create your own profile, including a photo if you wish. Once you’ve completed this profile page, you are now officially signed up to the Reading Habit Community network. Pretty easy so far!!
Step 2 – Create Your Own Book Club Group
At this stage, you should still be signed into the Reading Habit Community page, but if you’re not, do so now by using the SIGN IN button on the home page. Now you need to click on the GROUPS tab on the second row at the top of the home page. This will take you to a listing of all the current groups that have been formed in the Reading Habit Community network. My group is called Rathmines Book Club, but you won’t be able to access it as it’s a private page.
In the right hand corner of the group page, right next to your profile name, you’ll see a little button titled ‘Add’. Click on this button. This is the page where you add your group. You’ll need to enter the name of your reading group and a short description. You can also include a photo and links to an external website if you like. This is also where you complete your privacy settings.
If you want to make sure that no-one other than approved members can see your information then you need to select ‘group information only (private)’ under the Privacy Settings heading. Under the Members Settings heading, you can also select whether anyone can join or only invitees, and whether members have to be approved or not. For complete privacy, I suggest you select invitees only and that members need to be approved. Once you’re done with your selections click on the ‘Add Group’ button at the bottom. Your book club group page has now been created.