What are we?
The Wimbledon Book Club is a book discussion group that meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Mondays of every month in Wimbledon, South West London, England. It was founded in late 2008 and began meeting since early 2009.
Unlike some other local Bookclubs we could mention we do not exclude members on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, creed, class or political persuasion either explicitly or implicitly via our book choices. We are genuinely open to all.
We are open to men and women alike of every age who would like to meet like minded people from the local area to discuss great books over a drink and hopefully make new friends.
What we do read
We usually read contemporary fiction paperbacks and being an adventurous bunch we will often like to read something outside of our comfort zone. We aim to read as wide a range of books as possible, that will appeal to as wide a range of people as possible. This may include Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction, Family sagas, Graphic Novels, current affairs or anything else that helps us become 'Well Read'.
What we don't read
In general we will not be reading books series, Chick-lit, Body-Mind-Spirit works or the very latest bestseller that's promoted by endless TV shows. There are enough Bookclubs catering specifically for these books already. As a rule of thumb most are under 400 pages and something that a commuter will easily be able to finish within one month. Once or twice a year we usually have a longer book (750+ pages) but they will almost always be proceeded or followed with shorter books of 250-300 pages or less. Impenetrable literary works such as James Joyce's Ulysses will probably not be chosen either. There is no point picking books that are so challenging that they stop being fun.
How our book choices are made
Our reading list is made by The Chief Bookworm �? in order to ensure it appeals to as wide a range of people as possible, men and women alike. This means we are as likely to read Science Fiction as Crime Fiction or Romantic Fiction as anything else. Bookworms (Members by any other name) are encouraged to put their book suggestion in their profile in the space provided. The Chief Bookworm �? does occasionally look at these for potential suggestions.
People want to come to a Book Club to enjoy themselves, chat about their shared book experience, have fun and avoid the politics and favouritism that plague many other Book Clubs when book choices are made. I'm sure we have all experienced examples of a small cliques voting for each others choices, we don't have that.
It's very common for Book Clubs to exclude Men via the books they read with nothing but books by women, for women and about women. Those who want to read these usual type of Book Club books should join their local Womans Institute, there are no less than three of them in and around Wimbledon (no in-fighting there then ).
Membership Dues - VERY IMPORTANT
There is a very simple charge of £2 per meeting per person. Members have to pay their dues when they RSVP. There are no refunds of Dues under any circumstances unless a meeting is cancelled or rescheduled. Membership dues are made for named meetings and do not provide a form of credit that can be transferred between meetings or members.
Everything you want to know about Dues can be found >>here<<.
We generally try to provide at least two to three months notice of upcoming books to allow people plenty of time to read them.
So that meetings do not get too crowded a maximum limit of fourteen (14) people per meeting has been set. This is large enough to be diverse but not so large as to inhibit shyer members from speaking up.
Members are expected to RSVP before attending to allow us to control the number attending and provide the best experience for as many as possible. Those simply turning up without an RSVP will be asked to return with an RSVP.
As we limit the size of meetings to ensure they are small enough to be friendly, places often get filled quickly. After that you can add yourself to a Waiting List, which will email everyone on it should a place become available. After that its first come first served on who gets the place. That obviously gives an advantage to those who have an SmartPhone or use their email all day but no system would be perfect. Good luck with it though.
Due to places at the book club being limited to 14 per meeting, members who twice change their status to NO within two days of a meeting or who simply don't turn up will forfeit their membership, permanently. When people cancel at the last minute it means that someone else misses out on taking that place, which is inconsiderate.
Our priority is to run the book club for regular members to get to know each other, make friends and have a good time. To this end members, or so called 'CherryPickers', who only seem able to RSVP Yes to really famous or popular books may loose their place at these meetings if regular members look to be loosing out. In this case 'loose their place' would mean their RSVP being change to No and their Dues refunded.
For the same reason as the two-strikes rule, The Chief Bookworm �? is not in a position to judge whether members/CherryPickers have a real reason for only attending famous/popular books.
This is not a judgement on these members/CherryPickers, their reading habits or their ability to attend. Its very human to want the best of things but if you want to in this club you'll need to join in.
We would ask people to upload an image of themselves to their profile before attending. This is mainly because we would like the book club to be a friendly place where people recognise and get to know each other. Without photos it has taken some members months to recognise other regular members by name. A photo will help us all put names to faces .
Anyone concerned with their online privacy can always update their meetup name to just their first name, this can be done here.
If you would like to contact the organiser of the Wimbledon Bookclub for whatever reason please feel free to do so through this meetup site.**
* The French
We may make an exception to our open to all policy for the French. This has not been decided yet.
Unsolicited Commercial, Public Relations, Advertising or "I thought you might be interested" emails will automatically be blacklisted and forwarded onto Spamhaus and recorded as spam. You have been warned. We will also never provide our members email address to a commercial company or email our members on anyone else's behalf, so please don't ask! Its embarrassing.