“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”– Erasmus
A couple of my favorite things are books and family and friends. Some of my favorite memories are spent with some sweet friends of mine as we discuss our latest book. We have a book club that meets once a month and the friendships, discussions, and ideas that have grown from this are extremely wonderful.
What if you want to begin a book club of your own. Where do you even start?
Find Some Members
A book club doesn’t need a lot of people. Some say that it’s ideal, for discussion purposes, to have 8-15 people for some good conversations about the books. My book club though is small, with only 4-6 people and we’ve always had great discussions. So I’d say to make sure you know the people you’re approaching. Know if they’re going to be dependable. Know if they’re going to participate in the discussions. Then judge your ideal number from there.
Choose a Meeting Place
If your book club is small it might be easy to switch hosting between the members homes. Larger clubs may have to find a larger venue, like a community room at a library, a church, or even a restaurant. My bookclub almost always meets at a restaurant because of the reason we like to eat along with discuss the books. It’s kind of like friends doing lunch together too. We are careful though to find places that accommodate us tying up the table for 2 hours.
Choose Your Time
You’ll also need to choose how often and when your book club is going to meet. The minimum amount should be monthly. If you’re meeting monthly then definitely discuss the entire book. There are clubs that meet weekly or bi-weekly. In that case, you could choose to discuss a book each time but if that’s too much there are other options – like you could discuss a certain amount of chapters each time.
Pick Your First Book
This could be the toughest part. You want something that’s engaging enough so that everyone will stick with it, but it also needs to have enough talking points. After all, personal opinions from the members inspire some great discussions. If you need some help, look at sites like Goodreads, LitLovers, and Booklist. They will have some reviews and new titles to help you sort through choices. Also the local library and the American Library Association can also help.
Prepare for the Discussion
Before the meeting, create some questions and topics that you can use to guide the discussion. These can be based on your own reading, a list from the publisher, or from online discussions. You don’t have to follow these guides exactly. Just be ready to redirect any conversations or discussions that have gone off-course from the book.
Most of all, you need to have fun. And of course read some great books.