Book Group Guidelines

To be sure, planning and running your own book group can be a challenge.  But if done properly, your book group will prove to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for you and your peers.

The Teaching and Learning Forum sponsers faculty/staff book groups each semester. The list of titles is distributed early in the semester, and you are encouraged to select a first and second choice from the list.  The Forum orders and distributes the books to each member.  If it is not noted, each groups selects its own facilitator.  The Forum will also reimburse lunch (up to $8.00/person) once during the semester.

How often will the group meet?

Most book groups typically meet once a month and discuss a few chapters per meeting.  Be sure to set a consistent time and place for meetings so that you do not have to go through the process of scheduling each meeting.  Make it clear to members that they are expected to plan their schedule around your set time, not vice versa.  There are many areas on campus that you can schedule in advance.  Some groups like to meet over coffee and pastry or a brown-bag lunch, for example.  If face-to-face meetings are not possible for your group, you may want to set up an online meeting space such as (contact the Teaching and Learning Forum for more information).  Once you have established guidelines for your book groups, it is time to focus on the actual discussions.

Discussion Questions for Nonfiction

Biographies, memoirs, essays, and historical accounts can all be very good reads, with topics ranging from politics and relgion to science and technology.  The following questions should help provide some ideas for discussion.

  • What did you find surprising about the facts introduced in this book?
  • How has reading this book changed your opinion of a certain person or topic?
  • Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he or she achieve this?
  • If the author is writing on a debatable issue, does he or she give proper consideration to all sides of the debate? Does he or she seem to have a bias?
  • How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

How Much Should We Read?

This also should be decided at your first meeting.  The facilitator can draw up a basic reading schedule if necessary, and your group discussions can follow.  Some groups with to have a lenient schedule and periodically meet to generally discuss the book.  Either was is great; it's your book group, make it work for you.  The most successful book groups find ways to apply what is read to the everyday questions and problems that arise in teaching.  In this way, your book group can become a wonderful cross-disciplinary support for you.

Your Treat at the End

The Forum will pay for one lunch (up to $8.00/person) per group per semester.

The Forum is pleased to announce that groups choosing to meet at the Wildcat Room in the Student Union for their complimentary lunch will receive vouchers worth the full buffet price - a $7.99 value.  These vouchers must be picked up and signed for in the TLF office.  Groups can also choose to meet off campus, and the Forum will now provide vouchers of $8.00/person attending the lunch to Cafe Ville Bella or Great Harvest.  This lunch can be a regularly scheduled meeting, a discussion, or congratulations for finishing the book.


 Please be advised that when the semester ends, the book

group also ends.  Make prior arrangements with the

Teaching and Learning Forum if you will be having lunch

after the end of the semester.


Please contact the Forum office for more information.

Contact us at ext. 7667 or e-mail to arrange for reimbursement or if you have any question.

The Facilitator's Role

  • Contact Group Members to set up first meeting.
  • Set the agenda
  • Provide the Teaching and Learning Forum with a short synopsis of the overall group's discussion as well as recommendations on the usefulness of the book.
  • Contact the Teaching and Learning Forum is questions or problems arise.
  • Pick up and sign for lunch vouchers for the Wildcat Room, Cafe Ville Bella, or Great Harvest. 

We are located in the Stewart Library, room 057, and are available Monday-Friday 8:00AM-4:30PM.