Tips on Starting a Book Club

Tuesday’s post talked about book clubs a bit and I made a suggestion. If you’re not a part of a book club and want to be in one, then ask around, look in your community newspaper for announcements or at your public library. The alternative to that is start your own with some friends and neighbors.

You’ll need to make some decisions on how large you want your group to get. You may want to limit it to a certain number like 6 – 10. Sometimes a larger group can be harder to manage with busy schedules.

Find a place for your meetings. Most libraries have a room you can use for a minimal refundable deposit. They love having groups meet and read. Your group may want to take turns meeting at each others homes. Dinner and a discussion in a restaurant that provides a private room may be your choice. Coffee shops are everywhere and can be a great place. Many book stores have a coffee shop in the store or near by.

Decide what types of books you want to read – fiction, nonfiction, genre. Vote as a group to decide. You could read a combination of different types of books and then compare them.

Set your meeting day and time. How often do you want to meet? How long is your time together?

Set the amount of time to read the book – 4 weeks, 6 weeks – be specific on what date member need to complete reading the book . That way no one gets confused.

Decide on a book to read together with suggestions from the group or a reading list that you all agree on.

Discussions should be focused on the book, it’s subject, the author, elements of the story, social issues, etc. If one person disagrees with another about the book or some point of view, then it should not become personal. It is an objective discussion about what the author wrote. You may not always like the book as much as others, but there is always something to be gained by reading and discussing the book afterwards.

Most of all enjoy yourselves. Your book club doesn’t have to read serious nonfiction that addresses the world and society. You can read humorous books or only one genre. You may want to focus on one author only. I know there are Jane Austin Clubs. It’s all up to you and your friends. Books take us places we may never go otherwise. Enjoy!

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