Diva? Not Me!

Barbara's picture

Every now and again, reading groups complain of divas, know-it-alls -- any words meaning "please let others speak!"

Our group tried an egg timer. Two minute maximum in the first go-around that provided all members their say. Didn't work to well -- the vocal one still interrupted members' allotted time! So, the group, san the diva, tried something else. DON'T DO THIS AT HOME!! Unless the group is friendly and can laugh with (not at) each other. The next meeting when "the vocal one" started to drone on, the rest of us pretended to fall asleep and some members started to snore! She look around for a bit and then burst out laughing. She understood the message and all was fine!

Maybe some guidelines would help the process without going to that extreme.

Guidelines for Lively Book Discussions

Respect space—Avoid “crosstalk” or talking over others.
Allow space—Some of us are more outgoing and others more reserved. If you’ve had a chance to talk, allow others time to offer their thoughts as well.
Be open—Keep an open mind, learn from others, and acknowledge there are differences in opinion. That’s what makes it interesting!
Offer new thoughts—Try not to repeat what
others have said, but offer a new perspective
Stay on the topic—Contribute to the flow of
conversation by holding your comments to the topic of the book. Though personal references can create a great discussion, as well, please keep in mind the length of a personal reference.

I have bookmarks with these guidelines printed on them. Please let me know if you need me to send you some to distribute to your members. Might help!

How have you handle divas in your group? Please share with your comments and let me know if you want some bookmarks!

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Diva, not me

Well I try to keep things going by saying, "Let's get
back to our reading guide or group questions." Sometimes
I have to press this stuffed bird that I have that chirps a tune. The ladies get a kick out of it when I do that...


Barbara's picture

Love it. maybe I'll try that! thanks for the tip.

wandering discussion

Love the new blog! This is a topic near and dear to my heart since I started a genre book group at my library. Since no one reads the same book and we are discussing shared experience rather than plowing through discussion questions, I've had to sort of teach the members how to do booktalks as well as ride herd on the amount of time taken and information shared by participants. It's very much a learn-as-you-go sort of group but my members seem to love it!

Diva? Not me!

The bookmarks would be a great way to open the subject for exploration, in any case. Have you any left to share?


Barbara's picture

yes! please email info@readinggroupchoices.com with your info. Hope they will help! Thanks.

Book Group Guidelines

Love your solution to the droning participant. And would also love some of those bookmark guidelines for bookgroups. Nice blog.

I'll send some to your

Barbara's picture

I'll send some to your library attn:Carol K thanks.


Think the bookmarks are a great idea but I work with three BIG groups and it would be too many to ask you to send. Have you thought of putting a PDF on-line so they could just be printed on card stock here?




Barbara's picture

what a great idea! I'll work on that. In the meantime, how many would you need? Email me info@readinggroupchoices.com  


I love the idea of bookmarks. It might be an eye opener without getting any feelings hurt.


Just wanted to stop by and say "Hi!" I am a book blogger who also happens to belong to a book group that has been in existence for 13 years! I am a big fan of book groups.

tina, thanks. let the book

Barbara's picture

tina, thanks. let the book chatter begin.

The Blogging Community--Welcome!

I'm so glad I discovered your blog as I read my Reading Group Choices Newsletter tonight. I am adding you to my blogroll and will hopefully be able to follow. On my blog, BOOKIN' WITH BINGO http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com, I recently was pleased to feature an article via The Huffington Post, by Fauzia Burke. She talks about how savvy readers are today and how blogs really are a help for books and publishers need to be looking at bloggers as the way to get their books out to the various "communities" of readers. I hope you will check it out. Thanks again for a great new blog to follow!

thanks! I will check it out

Barbara's picture

thanks! I will check it out and put you on Book ChitChat!

your new blog

Hey Barbara. I have you on my blogroll now. Looking forward to reading your posts. Thanks for setting this up.

Thanks so much

Barbara's picture

Thanks so much

New Blogger

Hi, I was very excited to learn of your blog this morning as I read my Reading Group Choices Newsletter. I love the name and I'm looking forward to being part of a book blog. Of course I know about blogs, but I've never been a blogger so I'm looking forward to reading your blogs and sharing all kinds of book stuff.

so glad you stop by. this is

Barbara's picture

so glad you stop by. this is new to me, as well. we will booking it, together!