Start your own book club

Do you enjoy reading? Would you love the opportunity to talk with others about the books, you, or they, are reading? To relax with friends and share your thoughts on a particular book an make your reading experience so much more enjoyable.

Where do I start?

A book club usually evolves when a group of friends decide that talking about the books they're reading is another good excuse to meet up. Just by mentioning it to people you like spending time with, you can get an idea of who may like to join. At the first meeting you might like to discuss the points mentioned below.

How many people do I need?

Somewhere between five and ten members is best. This number usually fits comfortably in to anyone's living room and if some members are away there will still be enough people to have a decent discussion.

Where do we meet?

The nice thing about a book club is that it's an informal gathering, usually in a members home. You can take turns at hosting or meet at the same persons house each time. Some book clubs meet at a different restaurant each month.

How often should we meet?

Start out with once a month. Any longer than that and you may find members losing interest. After a while you'll know what works best for your group.

How do we choose which book to read?

The first book could be at the suggestion of the person organising the initial meeting. It could be that the host for the next meeting chooses the book or you might vote on suggestions at each meeting.
In most book clubs, members all read the same book and this is where our library book club sets come in handy. However you can have special meetings where each member reads a different book by the same author, a book on the same topic or genre or their personal choice.

What do we discuss?

If the members feel comfortable with each other there is usually no need to worry about discussion. Some groups appoint a leader for each book who is responsible for finding a little about the author, presenting a few reviews and keeps the discussion focused on the book.
Any of our library staff can provide some information on general and specific discussion questions that might be useful in generating discussion in the group.
Keeping the book the focus of the discussion can be a little difficult at time, so discuss this potential problem when you fist meet. If the person hosting the meeting is the leader, then it may be their role to gently keep everyone on the point.

Hints:

  • Don't take it too seriously. It's meant to be an enjoyable time together.
  • Try to have meeting days and times that suit everyone such as the first Tuesday of the month at 8pm. Confirm or adjust the date for the next meeting at the end of each book club catch up.
  • Book clubs tend to work best when democratic. That is, everyone is equal in suggesting a book, all members commit to reading the book and everyone takes a turn at hosting the meeting.
  • Food is not required but it helps the discussion along and makes the book club meetings more fun. Keep it simple and share the load.
  • After you have discussed the book at a meeting, go around the table to see what else members have been reading. This can generate more discussion and ideas for future books.

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018