Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Club Names

If you're in a book club, how did your club get its name?
  • Do you name it by region, like the Queens Literati, a local club in my borough,
  • Or by what you read, like the Booker Prize Book Club?
  • Do you pick by the gender of the group's members, like Dashing Divas or Book Club for Men?
  • Or age? Like Young at Heart?
  • Or maybe just something quirky and random that describes your unique group?
I'm kind of fascinated by this topic and how it impacts the book club's appeal and possibly even longevity. Does a blander name mean more people can relate to it, or does it mean that it doesn't present a specific enough identity for folks to cling to?

Or, what happens when you go off topic? Like when the Booker Prize Book Club decided to stop reading Booker Prize-nominated books exclusively? What happens then? Should that club get a new name?

Book club naming is definitely an exercise in branding. Can you name your club something if another club is already using that name? I don't mean to ask this in terms of copyright but more in terms of etiquette. Is there etiquette around choosing a name that's already in use?

I can't recall having been part of a club at its inception, so I've never had to name a club, but the question came up because the bookstore where I used to work is forming two young-adult book clubs, one for teens and one for adults. I tried brainstorming some names but I was torn between names that were too age-specific and possibly unappealing to the adults especially, and names that were cool but not specific enough to the topic. What would you name these clubs?

Have you ever decided not to join a club because of its name, even if the topics or affinity interested you?  I've been in several over the years- one for local alumnae of my college, one that was religious and I tried a couple of library book clubs and MeetUp groups in NYC. Some of them have stuck longer than others, but naming always seems to be an issue. What are your thoughts?


bermudaonion said...

My book club doesn't really have a name. :/

Allison E said...

I've been a part of two book clubs in the past ten years, both of which went strong for a time and then slowly fizzled out. One of them was called "The Let's Finish the Book Book Club" due to slacking members. I doubt this acted as a draw for anyone but maybe if we read humor it would work. This book club was comprised of librarians, ironically enough. We mainly read fiction titles and there were a few members who just didn't like anything and that kind of across the board negativity contributed to the disbanding of the group.

The second book club didn't have an official name but I think we were unofficially called the "Foodie Bookie Club". We would meet at restaurants around NYC that were of the same cuisine as the book we read. That kind of turned into a food club more than a book club. I distinctly remember meeting at a Portuguese restaurant to discuss "Blindness" and a disagreement about the book was quickly mollified by the food.