How to Start Your Own Book Club
I have always loved reading. My dad taught me how to read my Beatrix Potter books at a very young age and from the moment I was able to do it on my own, I was hooked. One of my older sisters who loves reading just as much as I do would bring me to the bookstore to pick out a new book every other month to keep my love of reading alive. To this day, I still feel this unexplainable love for being in a bookstore, surrounded by all the possible books I can bring home with me and lose myself in.
When I started working at my first bigtime jobs, my team had an ongoing book club that I eagerly joined. It was one of my favourite parts of work – being able to discuss amazing novels with like-minded book lovers. After leaving, I was back on my own and was missing that social aspect of reading that I gained from being involved. So I decided that in the new year, I would start my own book club. If you’ve ever thought of creating your own book club, this post is for you!
So, you’ve decided to start your own book club – awesome! Wanting to start a book club can seem a bit daunting when you don’t really know where to start but fear not, this post will give you some great tips on how to get your new club situated!
Initial Steps to Take Before Forming Your Book Club
Take a moment to sit down and determine the answers to the following questions:
- What is your reason for starting a book club?
- What do you wish to get out of it?
- Who will make up the club?
- Will all members have something in common aside from books (for example, will all members be bloggers?) or do you want a diverse membership?
- Will your book club read a primary type of book such as sci-fi novels or will your group determine a monthly theme such as travel books one month and classic novels the next?
- Who will choose the book for the month the members are required to read? Will this individual also prepare the discussion points for the club meeting?
- Will there be a price limit on the books you’ll be reading?
- Who will act as the record keeper of all books read, when they were discussed, and who suggested them?
- Will you lead the club and if so, for how long? Will it be a permanent leadership or will you rotate between leadership on an annual basis between members? What will the process be for determining a new leader?
- Will the leader also be the moderator for the meeting? If not, who will be the moderator?
- Will there be a set date and time each month to meet or will this fluctuate based on the availability of members, holidays, etc.?
- Where will the meetings take place? At your home each month or will it rotate between members?
- Will other members take on non-leadership responsibilities such as organizing refreshments?
- How many members will your club accommodate? What are your minimum and maximum number?
Now that you’ve determined the details for your club, you’re now ready to start recruiting your members!
Who Will Join My Book Club?
- If your club will be a diverse group, spread the word to family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues who may be interested in joining
- You can also advertise your book club if you are open to meeting new people by circulating flyers at your local library and bookstore, and creating a group on social sites/apps such as Meetup.com
Ideas For Your First Meeting
- Ensure to prepare a calendar for the year that captures all the details of the book club meetings (i.e. dates, times and location of all club meetings, monthly theme and corresponding book, responsibilities of the members that month, etc.)
- Send an email reminder 2 weeks prior to the meeting to ensure you can accurately capture who will be attending which helps organize logistics such as the number of seats required, numbers for refreshments. etc.
- Make refreshments for the meeting fun! If your book has a pre-determined theme or the book to be discussed has an obvious theme, integrate that into the refreshments! For example, if you’re reading a book about zombies, make brain cupcakes for the members to enjoy! Get some Zombie Brain Cupcake inspiration here
- At the end of the meeting, the next individual who will be selecting the new book will have an opportunity to present 2-3 books they are suggesting for the next month and prepare a short synopsis for each. Members will then vote (method will be determined by your group whether it’s by raise of hand, anonymous vote, etc.) on which book will be the chosen book to read.
Are you a part of a book club?
Tell me what you love about your book club in the comments below!
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