“Use the first meeting to establish interest level and set ground rules. It’s up to you if you want a book club that’s more about sipping wine than reading; just make sure that all members are on the same page about the reading expectations. Now is also the time to decide as a group how you’re picking the books, how often you want to meet and where you’re meeting (for example, are you rotating hosting, meeting at a coffee shop or meeting at a restaurant).”
Sometimes reading the latest best-seller can lose its thrill. Pick a theme — like Italy, damaged families or one-hit wonders — and read three books in a row that fall into the theme. Each book builds upon the last book and members will feel a new engagement.
This suggestion is for the hard-core book club members who are committed to reading and discussing but, after years of talking books with the same people, want to shake things up. Try poetry, graphic novels or middle-grade books — whatever you don’t read regularly — to get a dose of new material and new excitement.”
If you belong to a book club that spends only five minutes on the book because most people didn’t read past the first 100 pages (if that), set up a system for rewarding the members who do complete the book. Some examples: a bottle of wine for the person/people who read every book five months in a row; if you finish all the books three months in a row, you get to pick the next book selection; a bead or charm given to each member who finishes a book (mimicking how kids get beads at camp for finishing projects). You know best what reward will be most effective.
A book club with a mix of men and women tends to read a wider range of books because different people contribute different interests. An interesting book club is one in which you read books you might otherwise never have picked up.
Doodle allows the book group leader to easily give several meeting time options to members and then select the time that everyone can make — without a massive string of emails. Follow up with a calendar invite or Facebook invite — whatever works best for your group.
Perhaps the way books are picked is not working for your members. Perhaps the club size is too big or too small. Perhaps members feel like they don’t have enough time to read between meetings. A book club is supposed to be fun, not a grueling reading workout. Adjust on the fly and communicate clearly, and be proud of the book club you’ve built.”
“There’s a line between being in charge and being bossy; try not to step over it. If you find yourself picking all the books and inviting all the new members, take a step back to consider whether you’re in danger of smothering your club. At the next meeting, ask members if they want the club to operate differently.”
Don’t get discouraged if your club fizzles away. People get busy, you might have read a few stinkers in a row, or the club members aren’t meshing. Put your book club ‘on a break’ and decide whether you want to change the club you have, take a year off, or start a new book club with a different focus.