Book Club Tips
Starting Your Own Reading Group
Ask people you know to help you organize the first meeting. Decide the ideal size for your group. Smaller groups (somewhere between four and ten) are great because they allow everyone a chance to participate, while larger groups (ten-plus) allow for greater diversity. You can also have special guest meetings where people invite friends or co-workers to join.
Mapping Out Meeting Logistics
- Where will the group meet?
- How often?
- What time?
- Are refreshments served?
Identify what types of books you will read. Do you want to focus on specific topics or genres?
Decide how you will choose the books –discuss candidates and vote, host/hostess pick, members take turns, random drawings –all have their benefits and your group may try several methods before finding the right one.
Choose books that challenge the group and generate discussion. Books with additional resources such as reading group guides, publisher/author websites with author interviews, enhanced bios, blogs, etc. add new dimensions to the conversation.All Book Club Picks
Consider what atmosphere you want to cultivate. Groups may be serious and academic in tone, or lighthearted and social. It's important to establish the tone as well as the pace of the meeting. "Social hour" may be designated at the top of the meeting with a specific time designated for the start of the book discussion.
Set the guidelines for the discussions
- Do you want to designate leaders?
- Who will introduce the title and author?
- What, if any, are the ground rules?
- Will guest speakers be invited?
- What about members who have not read the current selection?
The web is a great place to find book club resources.
SimonandSchuster.com offers fantastic reading group guides, author interviews, suggested reads, contests, and much more.
You can also try your local library and bookseller for recommendations and additional materials.