How to Start a Book Club
From your Literature: Classic Guide
A book club is a great place for you to meet other people who share your interest in books. These tips should help you get started.
Time Required: Varies
- Advertise in your local newspaper. Also, post notices at the library, churches and bookstores.
- Look for a diverse group of people. If all your members have similar attitudes and viewpoints, your book discussions will be short and boring.
- Hold your first meeting to discuss the rules or standards your club will follow. Ask all of your prospective members to come with two book suggestions.
- Ask the prospective members what their expectations are and what kinds of books they would like to read.
- Decide whether there will be a cost limit to book club choices and determine how and when book choices will be discussed.
- You may want to decide ahead of time to cancel meetings during the holidays, with a commitment to continue meeting after holiday season is over.
- Decide whether the meeting schedule can be altered. Should one member be able to change the meeting time and place; or does it require a group vote, the vote of the leader, etc.?
- Discuss what the responsibilities will be for each member. (Where will meetings be held and who is responsible for arrangements? Should those who haven't finished the book be allowed to attend, etc.?)
- Will there be food at the meetings? Who will be responsible for providing food? What kinds of food will you serve, and are there price limits?
- Who will lead book discussions? Does the group prefer to have one permanent leader who will facilitate them, or will the person who recommended the book lead the discussion?
- Talk about potential issues or problems that may arise: smoking, pets, tardiness and telephone calls during book club meetings.
- Determine the rules for new members and guests. Will there be a limit to the number of people in the club, are guests allowed, etc.?
- Discuss the process of selecting the books you will read as well as the order you will read them in.
- If all goes well, you should have set down the ground rules for a healthy book club.
- After making decisions about what the schedule will be and what book you will discuss next, you can dismiss the meeting and go home to start reading the first book.
- Make sure that you discuss any problems you think might arise before they become monsters.
- If at first you don't succeed, try try again. If you don't hit it off with the first group of people who show up, try going through the process again.
- Have fun! Enjoy reading.
More How To's from your Guide to Literature: Classic