Do you love reading? Do you wish you could be part of a book club where you could get together with other book lovers and talk character and plot lines? Don’t wait for an invitation. Start your own book club. It’s easier than you think!
That’s exactly what two friends and I did more than five years ago after we were inspired by a spirited conversation we had about a book we’d all read. We were out hiking at the time, and our conversation was so energizing we decided we wanted a regular place for such discussions. By the time our hike was done, we had figured out the logistics and all that was left to do was invite three more people to join us.
Years later, we’ve shared dozens of meals and books. But even more than that, we have rich friendships that go beyond the books. Sounds good? Then go ahead and create your own book club. Here’s some advice to get you started.
DECIDE WHAT YOU MOST WANT
What do you most want out of your book club? Do you want it to be large or small? Mostly social with a little bit of book discussion or heavy book discussion with a little bit of socializing? Know what you want from a book club so you can clearly communicate that to potential members and find the people who are the best fit for your group. That way no one is disappointed.
Read Related: Sisterhood of the Books: A Female Bonding Book Club
CONSIDER THE OPTIONS
Do you prefer to discuss fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or all genres? Would you rather limit book length to ensure that everyone has a better chance to finish reading? My book club mostly goes for books under 400 pages so everyone has a chance to get it read, but sometimes we overlook that rule. Do you need to keep things affordable? Initially, we read only paperbacks, but now, with e-books and more people using libraries, any format works for us. Where will you meet and at what time? How will you pick the books? Would you like to occasionally have authors Skype in? Many authors offer this connection now—just check out their web pages.
Jessica Fazio-Christensen’s book club chooses their books by having each member put two books they want to read in a bag. Books are read in the order they’re drawn from the bag. “Once the bag is out of options, we refill it with two more books so everyone gets their books chosen,” she explains.
At the end of each year, Tiara Henderson’s book club chooses books for the next year, but they are flexible with substitutions that are suggested.
As for my book club, every six months, everyone brings in suggested books and we vote for our next six titles based on plot summaries and reviews.
Ask your friends who are in book clubs how their group works to consider even more possibilities for your own.
Don’t stay in the planning stages too long or you’ll lose your momentum. Set the details for your first meeting and get started. Book clubs are so rewarding—both intellectually and socially—that even if all the details aren’t perfect at first, people will buy in and get all the kinks ironed out quickly. Then what awaits are some interesting reads you may have never discovered on your own, interesting conversation, and a great group of friends that you can enjoy for years to come!