I started a book club last summer. I had wanted to be in a book club since college, but finally decided it was a good time to take the plunge. The only problem was, I didn’t know anyone in a book club at the time. Our club started with only 3 members and has since grown to 7. Our young book club may not make me an expert, but here are a few tips to help you start your own book club.
1. Find your purpose!
Being the busy mom I am, I wasn’t looking for a really strict book club. I knew I wasn’t going to read a book and take a test afterward, I wasn’t going to be writing an essay about the book, and I wasn’t planning on acting any scenes out. -You laugh, but a lady from my sewing group (another story for another time) told me that’s what their book club does.
So what was I looking for? I wanted to read more, hang out with friends, eat some good food, maybe have a drink, but most importantly I wanted to have some ME time. I was very honest about these things when I approached my friends about starting a book club and they all agreed. Laidback and social were the keys to our club.
2. Who will you invite?
My book club started off with just me and two other women I knew. I had seen both of them with books in hand. One had given me a book recommendation and the other posted books she was reading on her IG account. The rest of the women that joined our club all jumped at the idea when the book club was casually mentioned in conversation. We all have opinions and don’t always agree with each other, and that makes things more interesting when discussing books and life.
3. When, where, and how often
Time doesn’t stop, the house won’t clean itself, and my kids won’t stop fighting just because I want (have) to read a book. All of the aforementioned reasons are why we choose to meet in the evenings usually at restaurants every 6 weeks or so depending on schedules, vacations, and holidays. However, for our most recent meeting, my husband was out of town and I couldn’t find a babysitter. Instead of missing out on the much needed time with my friends, I hosted the book club at my house. This is completely out of my comfort zone because… dishes. Nonetheless, I put my anxiety aside and welcomed my friends in and ended up having a wonderful evening.
**With the current state of affairs, there’s no reason to cancel book club! Virtual book clubs have become all the rage! Try Zoom, Webex, even FaceTime but just because we are social distancing, doesn’t mean we still can’t chat about what we’ve read!
4. Choosing what to read:
In the beginning, we would go over celebrity book club lists to pick out our next read while we are at dinner. While there was nothing wrong with this process, I wanted everyone to have a chance to pick a book. That is why I brought up the idea that we would rotate each month. When it’s your turn, you would bring 2 or 3 suggestions to the meeting and we would decide from there based on their first choice and if anyone had read the books before. You might be surprised when you find a new genre you didn’t know you would like.
A few things to keep in mind when picking a book:
- Number of copies available at the library
- Format types available (print/ ebook/ audio)
- Publication date
- Subject matter
Publication dates are important to ensure everyone can get a copy and be able to finish reading on time. If it is a new release, there will probably be a long wait for an available copy.
As for the subject matter, one of the women in our club doesn’t like scary things. Therefore, I didn’t recommend something scary for our October book. Other subjects might make members uncomfortable. Keep this in mind when choosing your books.