Are you one of the millions of Americans who belong to a book club?  Does your group struggle to find titles with enough copies for each member to read before the next meeting?  Here are some tips from the Virginia Public Library for making it easier for club members to have their books read before the discussion. 
One which will become obvious once you have tried it often enough, is to not choose the most recent bestseller.  Sure, it looks like a great book, but everyone else in the Arrowhead Library System feels the same way.  For example, John Sandford’s Extreme preyhas been on the shelves since April yet still has nearly 30 people waiting to get it from their libraries.  Instead, choose books that have been available for at least six months. 
Another stumbling block can be a lack of titles in the library system.  You may have the perfect title in mind, one that you are sure everyone in your group will love, but if there are six copies in the library system and five of them are owned by high schools—which are closed for the summer—it may not be the right choice. 
Are you out of luck if your choice isn’t readily available from the Virginia Public Library or the Arrowhead Library System?  Most titles are available for purchase online, but not all book club members want to buy books that they are only going to read one time.  There is an alternative: 
Call your library.
Yes, the reference librarian at the Virginia Public Librarycan usually find a way for each member of your book club to borrow a copy of the selected title.  Once you have a title in mind, find out how many copies are available in the Arrowhead Library System.  If there aren’t enough in the system for your group, call VPL’s reference librarian to find out if there is a way to request enough for everyone to read without being on a long waiting list.  She will be happy to do so. 
Books should be requested four to five weeks prior to the discussion date.  This allows enough time for the books to arrive and be read, without having to be returned before the discussion is held. 
If you have questions about finding a way for all of your book club members to have access to copies of the titles you select, or if you are having a hard time coming up with a title when it is your turn to choose, give us a call at 748-7525.  We’re here for you.