Book Club Ideas and Troubleshooting

The first rule of book club is we don’t talk about book club. No wait. That’s fight club. Never mind. Talk all you want about book club.

So how do you start a book club?

Determine your needs

Why do you want to join a book club? Whether it is for the enjoyment of books, intellectual conversation,  or just to get out of the house for a few hours, there is a book club for you.

To find them check out

  • Bookstores
  • Libraries
  • Meetup Groups
  • Talk to friends and coworkers

Or

Hosting your own book club

  • How big of a group do you want to host?
  • How much space do you have?
    If you live in a small home, consider public spaces nearby which would fulfill your needs better. Many libraries and bookstores host bookclubs – but expect that strangers will pop in and out and don’t expect that you can bring wine.
  • What type of books you are interested? Some bookclubs are open to any type, some focus on a particular genre.
  • What type of party are you interested in? Rotating hosts, Potluck, Themed Menus, and will there be alcohol?

Invite your friends and ask your friends to invite their friends, family members. Choose a book. Giving everyone enough time to read it — a month seems to be preferable, but some bookclubs meet bi-weekly or even weekly.

Book Club Trouble Shooting Tips 

Bookclub devolving into just a social party?

Make a schedule for a two and a half hour event, the schedule might look like:
30 minutes for small talk and to allow latecomers to get there.
60 minutes to talk about the book
60 minutes to socialize

Stuck about what to talk about?

  • Toss only one question at a time to the group. Make sure everyone had the chance to speak before you move on.
  • Choose a primary character or just your favorite character and ask members to comment on him or her.
  • Pick out a specific passage from the book—a description, an idea, a line of dialogue—and ask members to comment on it.
  • In discussion if someone asks for clarification, a page number or to read a passage, don’t say, “But that’s not how we do it here.” Trust me, that person will never come back.

So&So always picks the worst books!

  • Don’t be dismissive to the person who chose the book or those who liked it. We all come to a book from our own experience.
  • Calling something stupid shuts people down. Saying that a passage or a character’s actions made you uncomfortable –even if you can’t explain exactly why keeps the conversation open.

What happens if I am the only one who read the book?

Feel superior in your literary knowledge, and this is the most important part: eat a cookie before you ACT superior. While not everyone is going to finish every book, every month. If months go by and this continues to be a problem. Disband (or leave if you aren’t the host) and start again!

 

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