As most readers know, there are not many things more enjoyable than chatting about a good book with friends. Starting a book club is a great way to make reading a priority with like-minded book lovers. So, if you’re in need of a reason to have tea (or wine, let’s be honest) with friends while discussing books and movies, here are a few simple tips for starting a reading club.
1. Decide On A Tone, Theme, and Genre
Do you love re-reading Jane Austen? Perhaps you enjoy mysteries and thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat? Maybe your tastes are a little more diverse? Whatever your preference, before you start searching for members, decide on a general theme for your reading club. The genres you choose will also set the tone. For example, literary fiction novels might inspire more in-depth discussions, while contemporary picks might influence a laidback tone.
2. Find Friends To Join
Include friends and co-workers who have similar reading interests. Keeping the group small, about 5-7 members, ensures that everyone has a chance to speak and offer input during meetings. A small group of friends also keeps things comfortable and cozy while hosting parties and get-togethers.
3. Consider The Best Way For Everyone To Communicate
Decide on the easiest way to relay messages quickly to your club. Online forums and groups are great ways to send information efficiently. Starting a closed Facebook group might work best, or consider starting an “online” book club via Goodreads. Invite members and easily decide on books to read, list discussion questions before the monthly meeting, or share real-time thoughts or opinions on the books you’ve chosen.
4. Decide On Your Club’s First Book
A great way to decide on the club’s first book is to meet, in-person. This will give members who may not know one another a chance to introduce themselves. Have each member bring a novel or book they’d like to suggest reading, and then vote on the selection that might peak everyone’s collective interest. This would also be a good time to discuss who will be in charge of the club, or act as a president, so to speak. Your specific club might elect that the point-person change each month depending on the size of the group or the chosen book.
5. Find A Meeting Place
Another idea to discuss is where the group will meet each month. Do various members care to host a get-together each month, or will it be the same person? If everyone has fairly hectic schedules, perhaps meeting at a corner coffee shop or deli that’s close to everyone might be a better option.
6. Decide On A Moderator For The Discussion
Again, this will more than likely depend on three factors: the club’s President, the member who suggested the particular book, or who’s hosting the month’s meeting. The moderator will be in charge of keeping the discussion on track. Offering up a list of questions to keep the group thinking about the novel is a great way to foster engagement during the meeting.