New Year, New You: Start a Book Club

Book Clubs

A book discussion club is a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. 

Taken from Wikipedia.

How to start a book club

Alright, so you want to ring in the new year by starting a book club? Good for you!

I am a big advocate for book clubs because they get you out being social, make you read more books, and engage in some fun book based discussions. If you’re looking at starting your own book club, then you need to ask yourself a few questions.

The below are some of the things to consider when starting a book club.

  • Who wants to join– The first and main task in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.
  • Will you have a theme or be genre specific? – This is an important question to ask as it helps your put a frame around the book club. What I mean by frame is that, if you’re selecting only books of classic literature, the impression of that book club to people who may want to join is that there may be a focus on in depth discussions of the work, rather than a book club that reads only crime novels which could involve talks around the whole genre and subject matter.
  • Picking a book – For your first book, it is my suggestion that you pick choose an easy and accessible book. Pick something that everyone can find, whether this is a bestseller or a classic, just so long as it is something everyone can access and actually read. I have seen a number book clubs fail due to an obscure book selection – make the first book a low effort one. You need to pull people in, show them how much fun the book club is before making them put in extra effort.
    Don’t worry though, once you’re past the first meeting you can narrow down or broaden the book selections and pick more nuanced options as a group.
  • How will you meet? – You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs. However you choose to meet, know that there are a number of options open to you.
  • Your first meeting – The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. If you can organise people, pick and read a book, and then actually meet – congratulations! Now all you need to do is stay organised and meet consistently (the second hardest thing to do 😋).

Book Club Checklist

Feel free to use the below graphic as a guide when starting your own book club.

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Three Ways to Join a Book Club

It’s a new year! Why not try crossing something off your bucket list or start on your To Read pile by starting a book club?!

I am a consistent advocate for book clubs – they are great ways to engage with literature all the while getting out and being social. If you are interested in joining a book club, the below is a brief look at three different ways you can go about achieving this goal.

There are a number of ways you can find, join, or start a book. You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs.

Option One: Start one yourself.

The main difficulty in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.

The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. It is my suggestion that if you are starting one with friends, start small. Three or four friends is a respectable amount of people for a book club, there is no rule saying that you have to have a huge group – however if you do start with large numbers then that is great too!

My other suggestion for your very first meeting is to choose an easy and accessible book. You may want to start off with something like Pride and Prejudice, The Help, or even take a page out of the film The Book Club, and read Fifty Shades of Grey. By starting with an easy choice you can get the ball rolling early and easily and hopefully make it past that first book club meeting.

If you are able to pin down a few friends and start a book club – congratulations! You have done the near impossible.

Continue reading “Three Ways to Join a Book Club”