"We’re reading The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a very good book and it’s interesting. I actually like it. Sherlock Holmes is my favorite character in the book.”
Jonathan Beiner, a member of Next Chapter Book Club in New York.
What is the first step to joining a Next Chapter Book Club?
Complete and submit this inquiry form. If there is an active club nearby, we will contact you within two business days to let you know how to connect with it. If there is not, we will begin exploring opportunities for starting a new club in your neighborhood. We also recommend that you talk to the head librarian of a public library near you and ask if they would consider offering Next Chapter Book Club to their patrons with disabilities. If they are receptive to that idea, please encourage them to contact us.
Who can join a Next Chapter Book Club?
Although there are some clubs for young children, the vast majority of our NCBC Affiliates offer clubs for adolescents and adults. Most have mixed age groups, so it would not be unusual for a 16-year-old and a 60-year-old to be members of the same club. There is also a wide range of reading abilities. A club member who reads at a third-grade level may be sitting next to someone who cannot read at all. Likewise, some members are very verbal and others are not. NCBC facilitators are trained to effectively engage everyone in a meaningful and fun book club experience.
Where and how often do the clubs meet? How do members get there?
Each club is launched and managed by a NCBC Affiliate, which is generally a local library, social service agency, or parent’s group (or a collaboration between two or more of these organizations). The NCBC Affiliate establishes the location and frequency of meetings – which are typically held weekly or bi-weekly for one hour at coffee shops, libraries, bookstores and other public places. Some clubs take breaks during the summer months and December, while others continue meeting. Club members or their legal guardians are responsible for arranging transportation to and from meetings.
What can a new member expect during club meetings?
Expect to have a lot of fun! Here is a description of a typical meeting: Club members (usually four to eight people) arrive and seat themselves around a table. If the club meets at a place that serves food, members usually buy something to eat or drink first. There are two facilitators who are trained to guide discussions about the book that is being read. Each member takes a turn reading (or “echo reading”) a paragraph aloud and then the group talks about the characters, the plot, and how the story might relate to something they have personally experienced. Expect a lot of laughter, and occasionally a tear or two, as club members share their thoughts, feelings and opinions. And most of all – expect to make new friends!
Is there a cost to join a Next Chapter Book Club?
Possibly. Some NCBC Affiliates require their members to buy the book that is being read. Many others do not. Next Chapter Book Club-branded products, such as T-shirts and backpacks, are optional items that can be purchased online.
Club Member Q&A
Q: Alison, where do you live?
A: I live in Columbus, Ohio.
Q: How long have you been a member of Next Chapter Book Club?
A: I have been a member for six years. We used to meet at Caribou Coffee and now we meet at Panera Bread.
Q: What do you like most about Next Chapter Book Club?
A: I like catching up about the weekend and the week with my friends. I like taking turns reading and having Greg, our book club facilitator, stopping and talking about what is confusing in the book. We all help each other read.
Q: What do you like to do on weekends?
A: Listening, singing, and playing the piano. Reading books! The Goosebumps series is one of my favorites. I enjoy play and cuddle time with Holly, my cat.
Q: Who do you admire most?
A: My mom, because she knows how I get confused and she will explain things easily for me. We enjoy having mom and daughter time on Thursday nights.