The book club will meet monthly, when there is aquarium of interested people. Each member takes it in turn to choose a book (the shorter the better), each goes away and reads it, and then all meet up to discuss it. Comments may vary from the author’s use of Foucaultian imagery in a feminist context, to the colour of the curtains in chapter two: a happy medium might be chosen also. There need be no compulsion for all to speak as though an overflow pipe; plumbing comes in all sizes, short and long. The group can be a space to listen as well as to talk.
To make things easier, the choice of book is likely to come from the shop’s core stock, and may be a ‘repertoire’ novel – that is a novel published fifty to a hundred years ago. But this isn’t sacrosanct, and once (or if) underway, the group will find its own dynamic.
One advantage of joining a bookshop book club is that there is less of a clique feel. Many book groups are like-minded or neighbourly souls, which can make for comfort, but accommodation of others is not a difficult skill. My book groups from my last two shops – closed ten years ago and two years ago – still meet monthly, and none knew of each other before the groups assembled.