About LBG

Hello!

We are the Loveliest Book Group, based in central London, UK. We have nine active members and three alumni who remain friends of the group.

We’ve been meeting (mostly) every month since July 2003, you can read about our 10 Lovely Years. When we started we had no idea we would be going this long but the evidence suggests we’ve got a working formula.

Each group does it differently but here’s how we operate.

Book Selection Methodology

We follow a (mostly) democratic process.

  • Each month a host is agreed based on sequential rotation.
  • This host proposes between one and three books and puts these selections to a democratic vote.
  • Votes are conducted either in person at a meeting, or electronically afterwards, and the winning title is read by all members of the group for discussion the following month.

The Discussion

We’ve never set or needed formal rules as the quality of the discussion is what keeps us coming back. Some traditions have evolved organically:

  • Only one person speaks at a time
  • The host always prepares discussion questions but everyone should be ready with questions for the group
  • Everyone has an opportunity to respond to every question
  • This is a literary discussion group, it is not a drinking club
  • We all make an effort to make the discussions both serious and fun

Keys to Success

If you’re looking to start your own book group there are no hard and fast rules on how to make yours a success. Every group dynamic is different and depends on the expectations of the members.

However, over time we’ve found several important attributes of our group which have maintained enthusiasm and commitment:

  • Respect. This is the most important and cannot be understated. Everyone’s voice is heard and respected in our group. Without this we would not have lasted 10 meetings much less 10 years.
  • Range. We read a wide range of material, including classical literature, pop lit, YA, sci-fi, plays, poetry, biographies, graphic novels and even self-help. We intentionally select titles which stretch our comfort zones and the best discussions emerge about books which divide opinion.
  • Regularity. We meet monthly and have enough people so that we can manage a few people being away due to work, family or illness. This maintains a self-sustaining rhythm and affords people the flexibility to manage their busy lives. Book group should be fun, not work.

Venues

We are continually scouting Central London for venues which allow the best possible environment for our discussions. Key characteristics we look for are:

  • No music (if possible)
  • Nice food
  • Good transportation options, as we are coming from all corners of town

Check out our venues page for our favourites, or at least places we’ve been.

You can also find us on Good Reads.

Any other questions?

Our group has enjoyed weddings, births, numerous qualifications and, frankly, too many job changes to count. Whether you’re part of a regular book group or looking to start one of your own, drop us a line if you have any questions. Happy reading!