Although Oprah recently made book clubs trendy, theyve been around for a long time.Theyre a great way to reflect on what youre reading and synthesize the message and meaning of books. Plus, they allow you to enjoy the company of a good group of people — while perhaps even enjoying some scrumptious hors-doeuvres. If you happen to be a lit junkie and want to share that with like-minded people, then perhaps a book club is right up your alley. However, if there isnt actually a book club on your alley (not metaphorically speaking this time), then here are some tips on how to start a book club:
1. Organize the Group
When organizing your group, its important to keep in mind how many club members you want. You might want a small book club with a few of your friends, and that is perfectly okay. People tend to talk more and share more in a small-group setting. However, you might prefer a larger group so you can meet new people. Get together those who you know will join, and then advertise for additional members. Advertising can be done online or by leaving flyers with bookstores and coffee shops. The best advertising is word-of-mouth, so get the word out there.
2. Designate a Meeting Place
Will the book club meet at a particular restaurant, or do you prefer alternating among members homes? Decide where to go and how often you will meet. Set dates and times. At your first meeting, discuss ground rules for the book club and choose the first book that everyone in the group will read.
3. Continue to Meet and Enjoy
Its that simple. Continue to invite others to your book club to keep it growing and to add new points of view to the discussion.
No time to attend?
If you dont have time to start a book club, or attend one, then there are still options for you to share what you read. With the rise of social media, online book clubs are becoming more popular. Check out goodreads.com for an example.
What do we talk about?
So you are all reading the same book and attending book club, but what do you do there? When you had your first meeting and set up ground rules, perhaps you designated someone as the discussion leader. Or, maybe you alternate discussion leaders each time you switch books. Either way, there are some options to help the discussion leader get the ball rolling. Oprahs Book Club provides reading questions for all the books on the reading list. Publishers websites also provide reading discussion questions and additional information on books. Check out HarperCollins, Penguin Putnam, Inc, or Random House.
Its that simple. There are no excuses not to start a book club now, so put on your reading glasses and enjoy!