April 23, 2015

Starting a Book Club

During lunch one afternoon a couple of months ago, I was telling a co-worker I've always wanted to start up a book club. I read a lot. Sometimes I read a novel and I want to share my thoughts about the theme or the beautiful figurative language. I might start one up over the summer, if only to stay in touch with my lovely co-workers over the break!

After researching starting a book club, I've come up with a simple list of steps and tips:

1. Get together a core groupIt is much easier to start a book club with two or three people who already have some connection.

2. Let friends, family, and coworkers that you’re starting a club. Your goal should be between 5 and 10 people. It is important to touch upon the expectations for the club (how long the meeting will be, how often will the group meet).  

3. Figure out the best time to meet and the location. Coordinating busy schedules can be the toughest part of starting a book club, however finding a good time will allow everyone to attend. Most groups meet in homes. If you don't want the pressure of preparing food and drinks, you may decide to meet in a cafe or restaurant.

4. As for how books and moderators are chosen, RealSimple.com suggests "for the first meeting, it makes sense for you to suggest the title and prepare a few discussion questions. Depending on the seriousness level of the group, you may want to do a bit of research on the author, time period, etc. Moving forward, every member should have a voice, with the group reserving veto power in case too many have already read the book or don’t consider it appropriate. Don’t want to deal with the committee selection process? Follow a best-seller list or recommendations from a website that focuses on your genre." 

5. Serving food is not a requirement of book clubs, but it makes the book club meetings more fun and gets the conversation going. If the book club is hosted in group members' homes, appetizers can be served with drinks. I've started a collection of appetizers for my future book club guests on Pinterest.

(photo from Pinterest)

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