If you like to read books and talk with others who’ve read them, then joining a book club may be for you. Because I love to do this, I’m a member of three book clubs! To find a book club in your area, you can definitely go online and/or social media and search “book clubs near me”. You can ask friends and acquaintances if they know of any book clubs. Also, check with your library or other local organizations that may sponsor book clubs. If you don’t find an interesting book club in your area, you can always start your own. This is a guide on How to Start a Book Club.
How to Start a Book Club:
Decide genre focus: There are so many genres to choose from! Your book club could focus on light fiction, mystery, horror, or the classics. Nonfiction subjects could run from topics on parenting, memoirs, history, or biography. The list is endless. One of the book clubs I belong to focuses on Social Issues, another on fiction, and the other, which was started by another member of my yoga studio, focuses on spirituality. The club’s orientation will guide who you will invite and where you may meet. Book clubs are about meeting with others who are interested in the same topics.
Set the meeting day and time: While you may set the initial day and meeting time, it’s a good idea to make sure that both work going forward. If they don’t meet everyone’s needs, you may want to go with the majority.
How often will you meet: Once a month is a fairly common meet up interval. Meeting more often generally doesn’t give everyone enough time to read the book. Waiting longer than a month to meet may cause a loss of interest.
Meeting duration: Generally, 1 to 2 hours will probably be long enough. If you have a lot of members, you’ll want everyone to feel they’ve had an opportunity to share. Whatever you decide, stick to the schedule. Everyone is busy these days and needs to know that the meeting will start and stop on time, so they can meet other obligations they have.
Who will moderate: Will it always be you? Will you rotate?
Books choice: It’s always best to let everyone have a chance to pick a book. This can be done by automatic rotation or randomly, with care that no one is excluded.
Meeting place: Some clubs rotate meeting between member’s homes. Some meet at restaurants or coffee shops. My spirituality book club meets at the yoga studio where I practice. One of my clubs meets at the founding member’s clothing boutique.
Guiding the discussion: To guide the discussion and make the most of your conversation, consider using pre-formatted questions. These can easily be found online from a number of sources.
Discuss group courtesy: While most of us assume grown-ups understand basic rules of courtesy, we all know this isn’t always the case. Depending on the topic, book clubs can get into some heated debates, so it’s best to discuss book club etiquette ahead of time. The basics: *Be cordial *Focus on the book *Don’t monopolize the conversation *Don’t interrupt *Be respectful.
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Connect with each other: Create a way to stay in touch with each other in case of changes or other issues. Consider creating an online forum where you can share information as needed. You may want to exchange email addresses and/or phone numbers.
One thing book lovers know is that we don’t love all books. You may want to remind everyone that if they didn’t finish the book because they didn’t like it-or even if they just didn’t have time, by all means still come to the meeting. Talk about why they didn’t like the book. There’s almost always something everyone can contribute. This guideline on How To Start A Book Club can help you get your club going in no time.
Have you started a book club? How many do you belong to? Do you have any tips you can share? We’d love to hear from you.
Lisa is a mother of three lovely young women and is a new grandmother to a baby boy! She has been married to her high school sweetheart for more than thirty years. Lisa is originally from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, but has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1984. Running a small business for over 25 years and raising a family has made for a busy, busy life with many ups and downs; it’s definitely been an adventure.
Lisa’s always involved in one project or another whether it’s work related or serving her community. She also recently went back to school to finish her bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Lisa tries to make every day a good day—that means learning something new, practicing kindness, and enjoying the present moment.