I have had a couple people ask me this question so I thought that I would answer it once.
Don't know how it works for other groups but this is how it works when I do it...
How many times have you gotten an art book, flipped through it once or twice, and then forgotten about it? You meant to go through the techniques and try the projects but never got around to it. You will get around to it one day but something keeps coming up. One day just never got here. Sound familiar.
A book study give you the chance to put that book to good use. This gives you the chance to actually go through the book. We don't go through the book in its entirety but a good part of it. How much you participate is up to you. You do not have to follow the schedule. You can do it at your own speed depending on how busy your life it. You can follow along at the same pace and decide that you don't want to be part of our conversations. You can remain a lurker in the group, if that is your choice.
What I do is try to lead the group in trying the techniques in the book. I will try and give everyone a little lead time or schedule in what we will do so that people will have time to get whatever materials are needed. I will try and do it on the same day every week. People will try the technique. You can post a pict to the photo section and post comments on how the technique went to the group. You do not have to follow the technique to the letter. Variations are always welcome. One of the great things about mixed media art is that you can change techniques to the kind of art that you do.
If you get busy with life or if you are out of town on business, you can skip that time and come back to it when you can. If you don't have the materials or that specific technique does not interest you, then you can skip it for that week. We will also do some of the finished projects in the book. I will probably not host any swaps stemming from the book. I am going to ask other people in the Yahoo group to do that since I am extremely busy with other things and don't have the time to dedicate to something like that right now.
There is no pressure. The book study is for you so you can get the chance to do something with the book and to share with other people to get more out of it. I have also been thinking of doing a fabric book with a fabric book background and a board book. That would be later on.
Do not feel that you have to have every single thing that is listed in the book. It is okay to have things that are similar or to substitute something that you already have that is something you use in your art. It is okay to say "what if I did this" and try it as long as you let us in on it. If you don't have something and you just want to try it once, you might want to ask someone in the group if they have it just to try it. It can be a trade or some other arrangement. It is all in the file section under the book study group file in the Mixed Media Art Friends Yahoo group.
Done rambling. Feel free to ask any more questions.