The first rule of book club is that you have to read a book

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When we were first imagining Charmington’s, Team Charm wanted space.  We wanted plenty of room for live music and tango lessons and I don’t even know what all else.  Roller derby.  Steeplechases.  We were dreaming big.

In reality, Charmington’s is going to be on the cozy side, although outdoor seating will be available in warm weather.  So, the activities that fit into the space will have to be a bit cozier, too.

What kind of groups and activities would you like to see in Charmington’s? Book clubs?  Poetry readings?  The construction of small, tidy craft projects?  NASCAR night?  Arm wrestling contests?

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6 Responses to “The first rule of book club is that you have to read a book”

  1. Martin Says:

    My very impractical longstanding dream for a coffeeshop is to have shared magazine subscriptions. Here’s the concept:

    1. Form a membership-based collective of magazine subscribers. Membership could be $5 or $10 a year, not too much, but enough to subscribe to magazines.

    2. Once there’s a critical mass of people (say, $200, which would be 20 people to start with), people can vote on magazines they’d like to see at Charmington’s. Some examples:

    N+1
    The Baffler
    McSweeney’s
    Cabinet

    The collective will subscribe to the magazines that get the most votes. If I remember right, each magazine is about $30 a year, so with $200 you get could six or seven magazines.

    3. The magazines would live at Charmington’s. When a member wanted to read them, they could just present their card (or give a number) and “check out” the magazine for the day. You could do a bowling alley-style driver’s license check-in, so the magazines don’t walk.

    4. Anyone else could either join for the year (the $5 or $10 fee) or for a day ($1). Many of these magazines are very expensive otherwise ($10-$15 an issue), and the only other place to read them are at a Barnes & Noble (boo!) or the library, which is unpleasant.

    You could eschew this whole collective whatever and just subscribe to a few magazines, but I think a collective might get a pool of people who would be regular coffeeshopgoers. You could also have people donate recent magazines, and keep a shelf for people.

    A crazy idea, I know, but you did ask…

    Martin

  2. Amanda Says:

    Martin, this is an idea I’ve NEVER considered, but I love it! I personally would read all of these magazines and will see if we can get some other people interested.

  3. Martin Says:

    Great! I’m happy to help out. If you’d like, I can get in touch with people in the Charles Village area and see if they’re interested in contributing. You might also have people (like me) who would donate old magazines. You’d have to be pretty careful about trimming the collection of New Yorkers from time to time, but I think this could work given your clientele. You might also get artists interested in contributing to get some art magazines.

  4. alex Says:

    The magazine idea is great, I’d definitely be interested.

    Here is another one: boardgames! There would be a collection of games belonging to the shop that people can play with while they’re there. I have a few I can donate to start, and I’m sure others have games they haven’t played in years as well.

  5. shelley rothschild Says:

    What about a free book swap? Leave one, take one. Martin, I like your shared magazine subscription plan, but no one is getting my McSweeney’s!

  6. Amanda Says:

    Martin: Sorry for the late response. That would be wonderful if you could start asking around for interest in this collective. You can email me at amanda@charmingtons.com so we can get this project going!

    Alex: I’m going to start a list of interested magazine folks. Email me at the above address so I can put down your name and info! On board games, definitely! We had a collection of board games at Bluehouse, and hopefully those made it over to the new space. If not, we’ll be happy to start a new collection.

    Mom: We also had a Book Crossing station at Bluehouse! Though, with our large medical student population there, most of the books were anatomy textbooks… probably not your cup of tea. Only seems natural to have one at Charmington’s though. Don’t worry, nobody will take your precious McSweeney’s :p

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