Start Your Own Book Club

Starting up your own book club can be a rewarding way to bond with old and new friends while enjoying some of what the literary world has to offer. Here’s what you need to think about in order to get your own club up and running!

The “who?”
Before you start your club, it’s a good idea to think about recruitment. Do you want your club limited to an intimate group of close friends, or are you interested in expanding your reach? Do you prefer to keep it a girl’s club, or are men welcome, too? Is there an age requirement? Get together with a few like-minded readers and figure out what you want from your group. This choice will be a determining factor in many other decisions.

The “what?”
It’s a good idea to set some guidelines about the kinds of books you want to read. You can take turns selecting the next story, put titles into a bowl and randomly select at each meeting, follow an online program, pick themes. . . how you choose depends on what feels comfortable for your club members. Is this a fiction-only club, or is an autobiography a possibility? Is there a particular genre you want to stick with (or avoid!), or can anyone just throw any title out there? Making these guidelines clear upfront can help to avoid confusion, frustration, and hurt feelings.

The “where?”
Deciding where to meet is as important as deciding what to read! Depending on the size and make-up of your group, you may opt to meet at members’ houses, a public library (check for meeting rules!), or even a café if the group is small enough. Deciding what kind of atmosphere you want to create will also play a role. Do you want to be able to serve whatever refreshments you like? Some public facilities may not allow it. Does the idea of having to host make it all seem like too much work? A park or library might be a better choice.

The “when?”
It’s a good idea to establish regular meeting times, such as the first Monday of every month, or the last Sunday afternoon. Keeping a regular schedule allows members to plan vacations and other commitments around book club, especially if you’re creating a larger, more public group. For smaller clubs, you might be able to get away with choosing the following month’s get-together at each meeting, or even plan just three months in advance. That will allow some flexibility if some members have very busy months ahead.

Have you even been a member of a book club? What were some things that worked or didn’t work for your group?

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Jessica P.
I have never been to a book club. I only discuss books i am assigned for school