How to start your own book club

Reading is a fun and productive hobby and discussing books you’ve been reading with friends can be an unbelievably interesting and stimulating pastime. Want to start your very own book club but aren’t sure how to go about it? Here, we break down how simple it is to get started.

Book clubSelect a genre/subject

It is wise when starting a book club to pick a certain genre or idea on which to focus your reading. This could be as specific as “Jane Austen’s works” or as broad as “20th century novels.” You could even make it your mission to expose you and the rest of the group to as many genres as possible. By no means does picking a focus point mean you have to limit yourself. It’s simply a way of ensuring that everyone involved is equally excited about the material you take on.

Select your readership

As with any gathering, the guest list is often the most challenging part. Do you want to make it an open group to which everyone is welcome to bring others? Do you want to limit it to close friends? Or are you looking to have it bring you and your co-workers closer together? There is no wrong answer here. A book club is a great place for discussion and debate, so often the more viewpoints you have, the better. It is, however, easier to have more productive discussions if you keep the group to under 10 people. If you go over, that’s OK too; you just might have to split off into two sub-groups when you meet up so that everyone gets a chance to be heard.

Pick your location

Where you choose to meet is completely up to you. It depends on the style of evening you want to run and what you think the other members would be interested in. Many restaurants are happy to have you hold a book club gathering there so long as you buy a few drinks and some munchies. Or if you want a quieter affair, consider hosting it at your place. Once the group becomes a little more solid, you could even all take turns hosting your get-togethers. Some people even merge their running/walking group with their book club, so you can get some exercise in and discuss at the same time. It’s all up to you!

Choose a timeline

It is very important to pick a timeline and stick with it. Do you think your group will be able to meet every other week? Every month? Get a consensus from your members as to how much time they have for reading, and go from there. Reading should be enjoyable, so you don’t want people rushing through. Also, having members not show up or come without having read the book isn’t as productive. So pick a schedule that you are all happy with. That way you’ll have a successful book club for a long time to come!

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