Sunday, May 2, 2010

First-time moderator

So last weekend was my first time ever to moderate a discussion for my book club. I've been active since November of last year but haven't had the guts to facilitate a book discussion yet. However, a few members managed to convince me, and I picked The Hunger Games as our book.

My decision to pick The Hunger Games was somehow fortuitous. Aside from being the book to be discussed for my inaugural moderatorship (is there such a word?), it was also the very first book that I reviewed here in my blog. How time flies!

The book club, Flips Flipping Pages (FFP), usually has a pre-activity before the book discussion itself. For the pre-activity, I thought of having a paintball tournament, another first for FFP. Sadly, I wasn't able to join the tournament as I had to rush to the venue for our book discussion to set up. But judging from the smiles on their faces, I guess everyone had a good time shooting and "killing" each other.

The members before putting on the gear

All smiles despite being in full battle mode

R on the field

The book discussion was held at R.O.X., a huge shop in the metro that specializes in outdoor and sports gear. If you're in Manila and you're the sporty or outdoorsy type, you'll spend hours just looking through their stuff.

Me and a few members busy preparing a game before the discussion
(Talk about last-minute additions!)

The book discussion was very enjoyable. Everyone had their own thoughts about the book, its themes, and other aspects. I actually prepared slides with questions for the book discussions. However, the first question somehow didn't work out so I had to come up with impromptu questions just to get the book discussion on a roll. (That was very, very stressful.) Thankfully, the discussion went its natural course; I barely had to interfere.

I just love hearing about other people's opinion on books. The Hunger Games certainly posed a lot of questions after reading it. What's the cruelest part of the YA novel? Who was your favorite character? Were the characters well developed? How is HG different from other YA novels with the theme such as Battle Royale and The Lord of the Flies? Why are we so hooked on "reality television"?

Joyce and Ivy of Scholastic

And of course, it has been an "informal" tradition among the members of FFP to give bookmarks as tokens after the discussion. I thought of giving 12 bookmarks that will each represent the 12 districts in The Hunger Games. Good thing my good friend R, graphic designer extraordinaire, was able to come up with 12 beautiful designs. The bookmarks were a hit with everyone!

The 12 bookmarks

FFP members Ajie (with the bookmarks) and Jan

I'm glad that the book discussion was enjoyable. It was a lot of hard work in terms of logistics and preparation, plus the fact that I had to call and text members just to confirm their attendance. Nevertheless, being able to moderate was a very rewarding experience.

FFP members after the event We're a happy, smiley lot.

I am extremely grateful to the following persons:
  • R for designing the bookmarks and for taking wonderful pictures
  • Don and Ajie for the pictures, and for showing up at the paintball tournament much to my surprise
  • Sana for arranging a meeting with R.O.X. management and for helping me out with the game (together with Ronald and Fatima). She really is the most well-connected person that I know!
  • The people at R.O.X. for allowing us full use of their conference room and their audio-visual equipment
  • People who brought food for the discussion. And there were a lot! We ended up taking some of those home.
  • Joyce and Ivy of Scholastic for the HG T-shirts
  • Everyone who participated


mental wayfarer said...

FFP member Ajie with the bookmarks... and barquiron secretly stashed behind them.:P

LoF said...

i don't think book reading groups here have that kind of fun. did I ever mention that I have thousands of bookmarks -- more than one for every book I own?

christa @ mental foodie said...

Wow is your book club always so elaborate with every meeting? I'm very impressed! good job! the bookmarks look great :)

Peter S. said...

@Ajie: I was wondering where the barquiron went.

@line of flight: I love bookmarks! I can't get enough of them.

@Christa: Thanks!

Sana said...

Peeta, great job! Nice being part of Team Peeta

Sana =)

Portobello's coffee said...

We should have a discussion on Catching Fire. That way, i can give you guys the thirteenth bookmark. :)

Peter S. said...

@Sana: Thanks for all your help, Sana!

@Portobello's coffee: We should patent those.

Lightheaded said...

The bookmarks look great! I want one! I want thirteen! Kidding. A lot of Hunger Games fans will gobble those up, moreso with the impending release of the third book! Yay!

And gee, never thought of mixing paintball games and book club discussions in one whole afternoon. Looked like you guys had tons of fun! Goodness, only in the Philippines :P

Peter S. said...

@Lightheaded: We all can't wait for the 3rd book!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I love all the things you did for your book club meeting! How fun! I am always trying to jazz up our reviews to keep them interesting and fun. We have 18 so a large group and I like to add the little extras.

This month we are potlucking food around the book theme. I am excited to see what everyone comes up with.

The book marks look AWESOME!

Oh and paintball? Totally jealous - I have always wanted to do that.

Peter S. said...

@Sheila: I wish I can join your book club!

Anonymous said...

HI, Peter! I read all about your Hunger Games book discussion at Blooey's site first. Seeing all those pictures made me envious. I'm sure you all had so much fun!!

Seems like this idea of yours topped all the other book discussions in the fun factor. He, he.

I'm probably the only one you know who has not read The Hunger Games. Will get on with it. :)

Peter S. said...

Hello, Jo! You have to read The Hunger Games! Now!

Anonymous said...

paintball tournament. 12 bookmarks. a slideshow presentation. great venue. awesome mod. wonderful group of people. an excellent book. FFP is very lucky to have you, peter!

Stepford Mum said...

I feel so bad for missing this! And yes, you did set the bar high for future discussions, so I'm looking forward to the next one.

Peter S. said...

@artseblis: Thanks! I couldn't have done it without the support of fellow FFP peeps!

@Stepfore Mum: See you soon! Hopefully on the 15th!

Anonymous said...

Had an awesome time, as usual! :D

Hahaha, I second R on the Catching Fire discussion pre-Mockingjay -- even just for the hardcore HG fans :D

See you at the May discussion!

Peter S. said...

Hi, Blooey! Thanks for coming! See you on the 15th!

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, I forgot to tell you on the 15th, since you're interested in other dystopian YA reads - my favorite "trilogy" still is Lois Lowry's The Giver, Gathering Blue and Messenger. They all stand alone, but weave together in the end. You might want to try one. The Giver is studied in high schools now, in the States and here.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Stepford Mum! Thanks! I'll definitely check those out!

misai said...

Hi Peter!

i so love the bookmarks, pwede humingi? :D pretty please!!!
i love HD series too & a certified Team Peeta.

Jokobunny said...

OMG peter!I wanna see all the designs for the districts! Ang awesome!