I will admit it: when I was younger I thought book clubs sounded super dorky. I mean, I always loved to read, but the idea of reading and then getting together with others on a Friday night to talk about the book? My inner dork did not want to be that dorky.
My how the times have changed.
Now there is nothing more I’d love to do! If I’m going to be leaving my comfy couch and early bedtime at home, I better be excited to do so! And bookclub excites me. Good reads, good friends, good food, and good wine; what could be better? I have come to embrace my dorkiness and have started 2 different book clubs.
So starting a book club is super easy right? Short answers is yes. Pick a book, read it, talk about it. But if you would like to make it a successful, long term thing there is a little bit more that goes into it. Here are 5 easy steps to get your book club off and running.
- Find your people. The people who would like to do this also. There can be a bunch of different ways to do this. It could be people you work with that want to hangout outside of the daily grind. It can be a group of friends that want a set reason to get together more. People you know that have a love of a certain genre might want to participate or people that don’t know each other well (or at all) that may want to make new friends. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people if they would be interested. Many times people jump at the idea!
- Decide on a date, time and place for your first meeting. This one is pretty straight-forward, but there are ways to go about it. Do you discuss dates and times and choose one that everyone agrees on? Do you set one far enough in advance so everyone just marks it on their calendar? Up to you! There are plenty of options for places to hold your first official meeting too. Someone’s house, a restaurant, library, church, etc. Google hangouts work if you’re not in the same area to physically get together.
- Choose the first book. Weird to see this as step 3? A little. But I find that once you have your date, time and place settled, deciding on a book is much easier. Depending on the people joining the group, you may already have one in mind but if not, no worries! Send around an email, gchat, facebook message each other, whatever! Just get talking and get deciding. This is the fun part (and most exciting part in my opinion) after all!
- Establish the guidelines. At the first meeting you should discuss some guidelines for the group. Some topics to discuss are:
- Is there a focus for the types of books to read (genres, reading challenge, books no one has read, topics, selections off a specific reading list, etc.)? If your group decides you don’t want a focus, that’s great too!
- How will you choose the books? Do people give suggestions and you vote as a group? Does the host decide? Make a list and then choose from that each month?
- Do you want to name your group? (Read Between the Wines has always been a favorite of mine)
- Who will be a part of the group? Are all who want to participate invited? Do you want to keep it to a certain number of people? Should everyone know each other? Just know, whatever you decide is fine. It is best for you and your group.
- How often will you meet? Every month? Every other? Will you have a set day/time? (If I may throw my two cents in here; I have found that having a set date and time, like the first Friday of every month at 7pm, works well. That way everyone knows to keep that date in their calendar free.)
- Where will you meet? If you decide on each other’s houses, I suggest making a schedule for at least the next two meetings.
- How will you communicate? Email? Facebook group? Evite? Texts?
- Eat, drink, (discuss,) and be merry! And if you need an idea for fun drinks with a literary twist, check out Tequila Mockingbird. The drinks are wonderful, easy to make, and have fun names!
I hope you have a wonderful time forming and participating in your book club! And if you ever want another member, you know where to find me!
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