A few tips for a successful book club and book suggestions.
You might be reading this in hopes to start your own book club because you love to read, or you just want an excuse to chat over food and drinks. I might be more on the end of the food and drinks part. I wish I loved to read more than I naturally do; being a part of a book club pushes me to read more and watch less T.V.
Keturah and I love our book club! Our book club has been going strong for over a year now. There were times that we thought it might end, but we kept pushing through, and it is going stronger than ever.We have learned a bunch on what works and what doesn’t work to keep us going. We all bring different ideas and thoughts about the book to our discussions, which makes it that much more unique. I hope that this post helps you have a book club that will sustain over time and flourish.
If you are thinking of starting one, or are looking for tips to help yours keep thriving, please take the 7 steps below as things that we have found to help ours keep moving.
Start With An Awesome Group of People
This could mean 3-4 people or 15-20: make your book club as big as you wish. Keturah and I first had the idea to start a book club and decided to put feelers out there with some of our friends and sisters, and once it seemed that some people were interested, we decided to send out a facebook invite.
We have success starting with people that we are both very close with. I know that many book clubs have started with complete strangers that meet on club meet up apps, but we decided to keep it to just people we know personally. It was something that we felt more comfortable with. If you decide to meet up on an app, I still think that the rest of the steps will help you.
We also keep our book club open to new members. At any time, you can decide to keep it closed and only invite new people at certain times throughout the year. This is totally up to your group.
How Often Do You Want to Meet?
We decided that we were going to meet every 5-7 weeks at the most. For us, we find that we are all busy, and it just works out with this amount of gap in-between each book. It’s not too far apart where we lose our momentum of going and being a part of the group, and it’s not too close were we do not have time in-between to finish the book.
We schedule our next meeting at the current meeting we are at; we find this easiest to pick the next date and time. We all take out our phones and look at our calendars and decide our next meeting time. We have found over time that it is best to only look at certain days of the week, so Wednesday and Thursdays are mostly good for everyone in the group, so those are the days that we focus on. This can be very frustrating and confusing in the beginning of starting a book club on what day of the week is best for everyone, but just hang in there you will eventually find a good rhythm.
Who Will Plan the Meetings and Keep Track of Other Tasks?
We use a facebook group to communicate all of our meetings, questions, concerns, book ideas etc. Who is going to keep track of the list of books, who is supposed to host next etc. I have been mainly the point person for this task. You can always assign a different person for each book to be the one to organize everything for the next meeting.
What kinds of books will you be reading? Who picks the books? Pick a theme or keep it open?
Before we started our book club, we sat down and decided what kinds of books we were going to read. We wanted to read books that were fiction, mysteries and an easy beach like reads, and nothing over 500 pages. I know that all might sound a little controlling to say that you are only going to read this one genre and nothing else, but it helps to make sure that everyone that is joining knows what kind of books they will be reading and there are no surprises.
Our theme for our wine book club is beach reads/love stories/mysteries/novels…I know not really a theme, but we know what we do not want to read. We have a long running list of book suggestions and once we read one book, we pick the next one on the list. This might not work so cut and dry: sometimes a new suggestion is given…like my co-worker said this book is amazing, and we have to read it now or just the next one is a sad book and we just read a sad book and we need something more uplifting.
We have picked some amazing books and some that I or others have not been able to finish. It is what it is. Don’t get discouraged. We know that we can’t always pick amazing books to read. It is like going to see a movie: sometimes you just leave disappointed that you even spent the time going.
A few ideas of book club themes would be; mysteries, novels, sci-fi, historical, humor, short stories, love stories, classics, long books, beach reads, self-help…the list can do on and on.
Plan out your time together and where you will meet.
We decided that we did not want it to be too big of a time commitment for people to attend book club. That is why we do every 5-7 weeks. At book club, we usually spend the first 45 minutes eating and chatting and waiting for everyone to arrive and then the last 30 minutes to 45 minutes we discuss the book. We are usually together for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This is long enough for us to feel that our drive and time spent was worth it and gives us enough time to talk about the book and pick the date for our next book club. Your time frame might be completely different than ours, but this is what we found works best for everyone’s schedules.
Do you want to meet a coffee house, rented room, park, someone’s home? We meet at each other’s homes, big or small. We take turns hosting book club and find that it works well. I enjoy hosting. It is a great time to make food, drinks and try out new things. Also, whoever is hosting book club is the one to come up with discussion questions for the book. We sometimes have questions on slips of paper that are put into a cup and everyone picks one to read aloud and discuss, or the host may simply ask new questions throughout the review of the book. I think both work great and get people to discuss the book.
Relax & Enjoy
Find ways to make your book club yours. I have heard of people doing a quote book where they write down their favorite quotes from the books they have read. We don’t do this, but it is an awesome idea to see a running track of the books your club has read.
Some key things at our book clubs are food, wine, sweets, cocktails, and more food. Oh, and talking about the books or course 😉
Some of our favorite books so far:
I hope you found this article helpful. I know that when I first started our book club, I was looking for tips on how to run a successful book club and would have found something like this help. Please comment with any questions you might have.