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How to Start a Book Club

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not very good at book clubs. If you follow this blog, you’ll have read my laments on my inability to keep a book club. Well, despite my failures it doesn’t stop me from trying again. This time, I brainstormed a list of rules and tips for how to start a book club and hopefully keep a book club.

1. Meet Regularly

You should try to meet regularly. I would suggest once a month. Make sure that it is a day and time that everyone can make. I would suggest the first Wednesday of the month for example.

2. Keep it simple.

Too often it is easy to get caught up in dinners and chatting. Suddenly discussing the book falls to the wayside. There is nothing wrong with have drinks and nibbles, but make sure that the club stays focused.

3. Limit the book size.

Despite loving big books and I cannot lie, I also realise that nobody can read 600 pages in a month and still work, study, look after children, and sleep. I would recommend keeping books to a limit of 250 pages. If you want to splurge on a bigger book, make sure that everyone agrees to the bigger book and maybe discuss it over two meet ups.

4. How do you keep the book selection fair?

Make sure that you a fair when you pick books for the club. My suggestion is collect suggestions in a jar and then pick them out randomly at the end of each meeting. That way, its random and no one can get upset for being deliberately left out.

5. Keep things cheap.

Not everyone can afford the latest release hardback, so make sure that everyone is happy with the price of the books you are going to read. Yes, you can use a local library, but they don’t always have the books you need. Try to pick books that are paperback, they tend to be cheaper, lighter, and easier to take around with you.

6. Make sure you know what books you want to read.

It doesn’t matter what sorts of books you want to read and discuss, just make sure that everyone is happy with it. In general I would suggest to stay away from series as they can get complicated.

7. Everyone should be okay with the book.

I’ve spoken about trigger warnings or content warnings before, and this applies to your book club. Make sure that if you are discussing a book that has heavy themes like rape, death, illness, etc. that everyone is okay with that topic.

8. You’re all in this together.

To really make a book club work, you need to attend regularly. On top of that, you need to make sure that you’re contributing to drinks and snacks (if that is something your club has). Also, all of the discussions you have should be constructive and respectful. And lastly, even if you haven’t finished the book you should come to the book club still. Because books and wine are always fun.

What do you think of these tips? How does your book club work? Remember to always share the reading love.

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