“Albert grunted.  ‘Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?’  Mort thought for a moment.  ‘No,’ he said eventually, ‘what?’  There was silence.  Then Albert straightened up and said, ‘Damned if I know.  Probably get answers, and serve ’em right.'”  ~  Terry Pratchett  ~

Border Vine 1

What are the rules of the book club? 

The first rule is:  You do not talk about book club.  The second rule is:  You do not talk about book club.  The third rule is: If someone says “stop” or goes limp…

Gigglemug actually has only one carved-in-stone rule:  Respect.

It’s okay to dislike a book – one of the great things about a book club is that you’re bringing people together who have different opinions, different likes and dislikes, and different backgrounds , and we frequently disagree on which books we like and which characters resonate most with us.  Discussion is welcome, debate is unavoidable, but this is, first and foremost, supposed to be a fun and pleasurable experience for everyone – there is absolutely no reason for anyone to be a bully, rude, antagonistic, or in any other way a complete and total jerk.

We’re not unreasonable people, but we do ask that you abide by that one simple rule to ensure this continues to be a pleasant experience for all of our members.  If you cannot – or will not – participate without ruining it for others, then we will revoke your membership entirely.  It’s just that simple.

Border Vine 2

What is the Gigglemug book rating system?

It’s similar to the standard five-star system; however, because we are grown women who can do as we please, here at Gigglemug we use tea cups instead of stars.  The more full cups of tea a reviewer assigns a book, the more they liked it.  Thus:

Scoring Hated Book

:  the reader hates the book

Scoring No Like Book

:  the reader doesn’t like the book

Scoring It Was OK Book

:  the reader thinks the book is ok

Scoring Liked Book

:  the reader likes the book

Scoring Great Book

:  the reader thinks the book is great

Scoring Loved Book

:  the reader loves the book and thinks it’s perfect

Border Vine 2

How do you select which books to read?

In the least fussy way possible: we are on a rotation, and we have random Top-Drawer Tomes selections (more information below).  There are no limitations on what genre of book a Lady may select, nor is there any voting to ensure we are all happy with the selection once it is made; if one of us does not like a book chosen by another – or if the book is simply too long for us to finish – we simply read as much of it as we can and review it accordingly.  The only caveat is that the selection must be accessible – in one form or another – to all members.

The reason for this rather simplified approach is actually two-fold: (a) the purpose of forming Gigglemug was so that we might each branch out and read books we personally might not have tried – being able to vote an unwanted book out would defeat this objective, and (b) it is impossible to get a roomful of women to agree wholeheartedly on any one thing, and we did not want to waste precious reading time (and let our tea grow cold) arguing over trifles.

Border Vine 2

Who facilitates your meetings? 

Whichever Lady is in charge of selecting a book that month is also in charge of hosting the corresponding meeting.  Meetings themselves are typically held on the last Saturday of every month.

Border Vine 2

When does reading begin?

There are no reading guidelines, so you may begin reading whenever you like.  The monthly book will be announced no later than the first of every month, and we try to read as much as possible before our end-of-month meeting.

Border Vine 2

Do you discuss the book during the month?

Absolutely!  Discussion is encouraged (that is the whole purpose of a “club,” is it not?), so please feel free to leave comments – we do ask that you abide by our one rule (respect!) and refrain as much as possible from including spoilers for books we have not yet completed.

Border Vine 2

What is a “Virtual Member”?

Gigglemug technically has four founding members, referred to as the Gigglemug Ladies: Lady Esbe, Mme. Elle, Mme. BillMo, and the Divine Ms. Em.  All other members – i.e., those who are following our site – are considered “virtual:” i.e., they do not physically attend the monthly meetings, but they do read and review the book(s), join in the online discussions, and are eligible to participate in Interim Reviews.

Border Vine 2

What is the benefit of a virtual membership?

Virtual members receive emails notifying them of new reviews as well as of upcoming books we will be reviewing, and they may join in discussions and post comments on reviews (after their first comment has been matched to their membership, i.e. – we ensure they’re following our reviews!).  Virtual members may also submit their reviews to books they have read for our Interim Reviews and have the opportunity to participate in our Top-Drawer Tomes program.

Non-members (i.e., people who are not following our site) may read reviews and discussion topics, but any book reviews or comments submitted by non-members will not be published on this site, nor will they be eligible to participate in our Top-Drawer Tomes program.  Only membership grants an official audience at Gigglemug!

Border Vine 2

I am a Virtual Member.  How do I take part in Discussions?

There is a section entitled Discussion at the bottom of each review and announcement, and VMs are free to comment and discuss the books as they please.

Border Vine 2

I am a Virtual Member.  Do I get to join in the book-selection rotation?

The Gigglemug Ladies choose the Monthly Selections, and all Ladies must read at least a portion of the books selected.  Virtual Members are free to avoid reading books altogether, and they are under no obligations to post reviews or participate in discussions – though the option is there to do so as they like.

Virtual Members are eligible to submit their own reviews for books under our Interim Reviews program, as well as make a monthly selection for the Ladies to review under our Top-Drawer Tomes program.

Border Vine 2

What are Interim Reviews?

Some of our members read faster and more often than others.  If any of us read a book outside of Gigglemug’s selection that we wish to review publicly, we will do so within a separate article.  These reviews are called Interim Reviews.

Virtual members may submit their Interim Reviews using the form located on our Contact Us page.

Border Vine 2

What is the Top-Drawer Tomes program? 

Top-Drawer Tomes are those books which were selected by our Virtual Members for the Ladies to review.

A notification will be sent via e-mail to all of our VMs requesting that they include 3 – 5 books they would like to have reviewed.  The information is collected and reviewed, and a poll is posted on the site containing the top 5 recommended books.  Our members then vote on which of those books they would like to see reviewed the following month.  The winning book is added to our Top-Drawer Tomes shelf!

Border Vine 2

What are Introductions? 

When we initially began Gigglemug, we included an Introductions program to allow us to get to know our followers better – and vice versa!  As we went along, however, we got so many requests from people wanting to be included that it simply became too much for our admin to handle.  The program is temporarily on hold to allow our admin time to overhaul our site and give the Ladies time to read and review all the books on their lists, but we hope get this program going again in the future.

Border Vine 2

May I contact you?

You may indeed, and we have handy little contact forms located here for just such a purpose.  We do check our messages regularly, but please provide 48 – 72 hours to receive a response.

Before you go through too much unnecessary trouble, we feel it is our duty to remind you that this is a book club, and we will gladly address any related inquiries you may have.

Border Vine 2