Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Start a Book Club

Have you ever wanted to start a book club? I recently started a book club with my friends and so I thought I would share a few tips about starting one of your own!

To start a book club you only need three things:

1. A book
2. People
3. A time and place to discuss said book.

I had reservations about starting a book club because I didn't want to commit to reading a specific book every month, but then I realized it doesn't have to be a monthly thing. My book club meets once every three months (that's only four times a year!) I pick two books to read during that time. This way if someone doesn't like one of the books then hopefully they will like the other one. I obviously want to pick books people like so they keep coming. Although, I make sure my friends know that they can read one, both or none of the books and still participate. I just enjoy getting together with them and the books provide a common topic of conversation for my friends who don't know each other as well.

Most authors have discussion questions for their books available on their websites. If you have attendees who have not read the book then make sure to ask a few questions that allows the conversation to spin onto a topic that everyone can participate in. For example one of the questions started our group on a discussion about whether our city has any food that is specific to our city. You always hear about New York cheesecake, Chicago style pizza etc. (it was determined that we don't) but it was fun to come up with ideas and it allowed everyone to take part in the conversation.

You don't even need to meet with people in person to talk about books. Maybe you and your best friend live in different places why not try reading the same book every once in awhile so that you can chat about it on your next phone date.

Have I convinced you yet? Are you going to start a book club? If so, here are my suggestions for some good books to get you started; all the links take you to if you'd like to learn more about the books there.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
The Things that Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

The last two books are what my book club is currently reading for our next meeting. And apparently I enjoy books that start with "the" but I did not realize this until I typed them all out here. But nevermind that, I hope you're fired up and ready to call all your friends to start a book group of your very own.

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