Gather a group of friends, decide on a time and place, select some inspirational books, plan a few discussion points, and hey presto! You have a book club!
A book club is a low commitment, yet highly rewarding, safe space for people to come together and share a love for books and reading. Do you love reading and want to share that passion with others? Why not start a book club? Read on for everything you need to know about how to start a book club.
There are many different types of book clubs out there. Some book clubs are very academic, while others focus on the social aspect. You might want to start a book club that focuses on one genre, such as Fantasy, or World War Two fiction. Perhaps you want to read books from only one type of author, for example, American women.
Are you envisaging a cozy gathering of only four close friends? Or do you like the idea of a large group of people with different ideas and viewpoints? The size and dynamics of your book club will affect the books you read and when and where you can gather.
How do you assemble the guest list for your inaugural book club meeting? Perhaps you have enough book-loving friends to get the book club off to a good start. You could ask each friend you have invited to bring a friend with them. You could also approach colleagues who you know love to read. If you are eager to extend the book club beyond people you know, post a notice on the bulletin board at your local library.
If you want to include a diversity of perspectives in your book club, you may want to invite people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. Everyone can bring their varied experiences and world views to the discussions.
Once you have a rough idea of how many people will comprise your book club, you can decide on a suitable venue. Do you want to take turns hosting the book club meetings at your homes? Or do you want to meet at a “neutral space” like a restaurant, library, bookstore, or book a meeting room at a community center?
You don’t even need to meet in person. Hosting your book club online is an option too. Use video chat services such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Duo to meet up with one another virtually. You can start a WhatsApp or Facebook group for members to communicate about upcoming books, and discussion topics, and plan meetings.
There are essentially two different kinds of book clubs:
If you are opting for the single-title format for your book club, you should get input from your fellow bibliophiles about what book/s to start proceedings with. Make a few suggestions and then use your discussion portal to discuss which book you should choose.
For multi-title-style book clubs, you can take it in turns to select a couple of books for the book club each month. Alternatively, you can all put two or three books in at the first session and then gradually work your way through them over the next twelve months.
If you have decided on a particular theme for your book club, choosing the first book/s to start with will be easy! However, if you need some inspiration, there is plenty of it:
If you decide on the single-title format for your book club, you need to figure out how everyone will get access to the book of the month.
With multi-title book clubs, the books are in circulation in the book club for some time (up to a year or more). Therefore, each member must purchase the books they are contributing to the collection. Read this post for ideas on where to find great online book deals.
So, whether your book club is book-driven or leans more towards a social gathering with wine (and books), you do want to spend some time talking about the books!
Here are a few questions to get the ball rolling with book discussions:
There are also several online resources, such as LitLovers, Reading Group Guides, and Goodreads, for more in-depth book discussion guides, questions, and reviews.
To get your book club off to a successful start, it is essential to knock down the nitty gritties.
What are you waiting for? Go forth and start a book club! We’d love to know how your new book club is going. Please share this post, tag us, and let us know how you got your book club started. Our weekly Save mailer also makes for super reading material if you love tips on how to save money!