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How to start a mother-daughter book club

Bonding over books

You already love your book club with your mama friends — why not start one that includes your girls as well? Grab some of your girlfriends with daughters of similar ages and start a mother-daughter book club.
Mother-daughter book club

There may be far less wine, but there will be many more giggles!

Find the right book clubbers

The hardest part in putting a book club together is finding the right mix of members, and starting a mother-daughter book club is no different. While your mom BFFs and their daughters may be the first people you jump to when you start your club, reaching out to a group outside of your typical comfort zone might prove to be more successful. Chat with your daughter's teacher to see if there are some girls in her class who might be at a similar reading level or think about putting up an ad at the local bookstore to find some other moms and daughters to join you.

Once you think you have a solid potential group, set up a no-obligation get together — minus a book — just to get to know each other, chat about what type of book club you'd like to create and simply see if everyone meshes well.

Lay down some rules

The basics of running a mother-daughter book club should be similar to that of a regular book club. Some common book club practices include:

  • The book club meets on a specific day of each month, such as the second Tuesday. Think about giving a bit more time than usual, to make sure the girls feel like they have enough time to get through the book. Maybe meeting every six weeks is better than once a month?
  • The mother-daughter pair who is hosting the next meeting — often times at their home — also gets to choose the book. Have them announce it at the meeting prior to give everyone enough time to get copies of the book and really dig into reading.
  • If more than half of the book club members have already read the book, a new book must be selected... and decide if new releases are acceptable or if you'd rather keep away from them to keep the cost of books down.

Most book clubs don't have a leader, per se, but they often have one person who is designated to run the operations side of the club — making sure a reminder is sent out before meetings, that the next hostess gets everyone directions to her house and such. Just because you started the book club, doesn't mean you have to take on this role!

Check out these 10 Mother-daughter reads that are perfect for a book club >>

Keep the girls engaged

But no matter the guidelines you lay down for your mother-daughter book club, every mom knows that what's really important in making it a success is keeping the girls engaged. Sure, they may love the idea of a book club — particularly if it's with some of their friends, but when it comes down to reading the book and keeping focused on discussing it? Well, that can easily feel more like school than fun.

Keep her age group in mind — girls who are on the younger side will love incorporating crafts into the book club, bringing some of the creative aspects of the book they read to life... and resulting in something they can take home at the end of the night. For older girls, who are likely reading the book on their own, alongside you, make it part of your routine to check in with each other as you read  — for example, once you've both read the first two chapters, sit down (over a cookie, perhaps!) and have a mini-discussion.

Getting together

Once the time has finally come to get together and discuss the book that you all read, keep lessons from your grown-up book club in mind as you plan. It's so easy to get chatting about personal topics, that things can steer away from the book quite quickly. Have some questions prepared that will help keep you on task, then go around the group to answer them to kick off your discussions. For example: Which character did you love most? Did you expect the ending of the book? What was your favorite chapter? Also, have each book club member come with their favorite passage or quote from the book highlighted to share with the group — it will be fun to see who else had the same part picked out!

Most of all, don't forget the fun aspects of getting together, such as the snacks and decor. Maybe you could ask each member to come dressed in costume, if that relates to the book or to bring something from home that ties in to what you read. Keep it light, creative and most of all, have a great time!

A bit about expectations

When you think about your own book club, you know that it's pretty rare that every member is at every get together. And, that they've read the entire book and are prepared to discuss it. Considering you're throwing your daughters into the mix now, for a mother-daughter book club, expectations about how often everyone can attend and how quickly they can tackle each book (on top of homework, sports, activities and play dates) should be realistic. If it's too intense, it won't be fun for you or your girls.

On the flip-side of the coin, if you make it too lax, then having a book club is pointless and maybe just getting together for a mother-daughter tea date would be more up your alley. Make sure that the moms and daughters in your book club are committed to the experience!

More on book clubs

How to create a family book club
What's next for Oprah's Book Club?
SheKnows Book Club is finally here!

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