The BookClubbish Guide to Book Clubs

Ever wanted to start a book club but don’t know where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for the who, what, where, when, why and how of book clubbing.

Who…Should I Invite?

There are a lot of considerations when it comes to figuring out who to ask to join your book club. For instance, how big should your book club be? Only you can be the judge of that but we’ll suggest aiming for 10 members for your first meeting. It’s a large enough group to spark interesting discussions but small enough that everyone will have a voice to share their views.

We’re big believers that a book club should be filled with diverse perspectives so that the conversation is engaging. However, you may want to refrain from inviting that one super-opinionated “friend” who will dominate the discussions again and again. After all, everyone should feel comfortable with contributing their thoughts.

What…Books Should We Read?

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood, The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick and A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

The funnest and perhaps most challenging part of being a part of a book club is deciding what book to read next. Different book clubs have different guidelines on how they pick their titles. You can have everyone vote at the end of the meeting for which book is next. Or, if you alternate hosting/running the meetings, you can have that month’s organizer decide on the read. To make sure everyone gets the best out of the book selection, set up some basic guidelines on what types of books you can nominate based on genre, length or another criteria.

Want some recommendations? Here’s what we’d nominate if we were a part of your group: The Cactus by Sarah Haywood (a Reese Book Club Pick!), The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick (an inspiring historical fiction title about courage, hope and sisterhood) and A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen (about a former pop star in post-apocalyptic San Francisco…need we say more?).

Where…Should We Meet?

The number of book club meeting places are endless! The first step in deciding where to meet, though, is figuring out if you’ll be hosting your meetings online or offline. If your book club has gone fully digital then using a Facebook group to organize and run your meetings is a great option with built-in discussion and poll features. You can also use a video conferencing software like Skype to chat with one another.

If your meetings are going to be offline, you don’t need to resign to host meetings in your small apartment if you don’t want to. Consider going to a cafe or having a meeting at your favorite local brunch spot. You can also alternate between different meeting spots whether they be members’ homes or even restaurants offering cuisine featured in your book club book this month!

When…Should We Meet?

The key to running a good book club is meeting consistently on a regular basis. Typically, book clubs aim to meet for a couple of hours once a month for their discussions. However, feel free to alter those rules if they don’t suit your group.

Do you see each other regularly enough as it is? Incorporate a mini book club meeting midway through the month to talk about what you think about the book. Do you all have trouble finishing the book by the time your next meeting rolls around? Space out your meetings so they’re every 6 weeks instead of 4. Whatever the case, just make sure to pencil in these meetings 2-3 months in advance so everyone can make time for them.

Why…Should I Have a Book Club?

You wouldn’t get this far in the article if you didn’t have a reason to start a book club, right? There are many perks of having a book club that we love! First and foremost, they get you reading. And while reading is often a solitary hobby, it’s great to socialize over a good book…or get into debates over why you hated a bad one! Book clubs can result in a bigger TBR list, broader reading tastes and better friendships to boot.

How…Do I Start?

Eager to get started? It’s not too hard. Just gather a group of friends (and friends of friends), decide on a date and place for your first meeting and choose your inaugural book club pick!

What will you be reading?

    Katie Didow

    Katie's been a book nerd ever since she skipped out on recess to read Harry Potter. When she's not reading, you'll find her sewing, baking or binge-watching her old favorite TV shows on Disney+.

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