If you’re wondering how to start a book club, let me first welcome you to the wonderful world of book clubs! Whether you’re an avid reader looking for a way to connect with others who share your love of literature, or simply looking for a new hobby to try out, starting a book club can be a rewarding and enriching experience.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about starting a book club, from choosing the right format (virtual or in-person) to selecting your first book and beyond. By the end, you’ll have all the tools you need to get your book club off the ground and running.

Why start a book club?

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of starting a book club, it’s worth considering why you might want to start one in the first place. Here are just a few of the many benefits of joining or starting a book club:

  • Connect with like-minded individuals: A book club is a great way to connect with others who share your love of literature. Whether you’re interested in discussing the latest bestsellers, or delving into classic literature, a book club can provide a space for meaningful conversations and connections.
  • Improve your reading habits: If you’ve been struggling to find the time or motivation to read, a book club can provide the accountability you need to keep up with your reading goals. Plus, with a set reading schedule, you’ll have a clear plan for when and what to read, making it easier to stay on track.
  • Expand your knowledge and perspectives: Reading widely exposes us to different ideas, cultures, and perspectives, and a book club can help us to delve deeper into these topics and engage in meaningful discussions about them.
  • Have fun: Reading can be a solitary activity, but a book club allows you to share your thoughts and opinions with others, making the experience much more social and enjoyable.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering starting your own book club, or perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge and are looking for some tips on how to make it a success. Either way, you’re in the right place.

how to start a book clubBook clubs are a wonderful way to connect with like-minded readers, discover new authors and genres, and discuss thought-provoking ideas and themes. They can be an enriching and enjoyable experience for all involved. But before you get started, there are a few key things you’ll want to consider.

Virtual Book Club vs Face-to-Face Book Club

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether to go with a virtual book club or a face-to-face book club. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider what will work best for you and your group.

Virtual book clubs:

Pros: More flexible for people with busy schedules; no need to worry about transportation; can involve people from anywhere in the world

Cons: Can be more challenging to facilitate discussion; may not have the same sense of community as a face-to-face book club

Tools and websites that can help with a virtual book club:

  • Goodreads: This popular social media platform for readers allows you to create a private group for your book club, where you can discuss books, share recommendations, and keep track of your reading progress.
  • Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet: These video conferencing tools allow you to have virtual meetings and discussions with your book club members.
  • Facebook or Instagram: If you prefer to keep things more low-key, you can create a private group on one of these social media platforms and use it to discuss books and plan meetings.

Face-to-face book clubs:

Pros: Can foster a stronger sense of community; easier to facilitate discussion; can involve food and drinks, which can be a fun element

Cons: More logistically challenging for people with busy schedules or who live far away; may require transportation; may be harder to accommodate different schedules and commitments

Tools and websites to help organize a face-to-face book club:

  • Meetup: A website and app that helps people connect with others who share similar interests. It can be used to create and join book clubs in your local area.
  • Libby: A free app offered by many public libraries that allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. This can be useful for book club members who prefer digital formats or who have difficulty getting to the library.
  • Book club kits: Many libraries offer book club kits, which contain multiple copies of a book, discussion questions, and other materials to help facilitate a book club.

Overall, a face-to-face book club can be a great way to connect with others in your community and foster a sense of community. However, it can also be logistically challenging, especially for those with busy schedules or who live far away. Tools and websites like Meetup, and Libby can help make it easier to organize and participate in a face-to-face book club.

How do you decide on books for your book club?

There are a few different approaches you can take when it comes to deciding on books for your book club:

  1. Poll your members: Ask your book club members for suggestions, and then compile a list of potential choices. You could do this through a survey or by hosting a discussion on a messaging platform. This is a great way to ensure that everyone has a say in the selection process and that the books chosen are of interest to the group.
  2. Choose a theme: If you want to focus on a specific genre or theme, you can select books that fit within that category. This can help to keep your book club focused and add an element of cohesiveness to your discussions.
  3. Follow a reading list: Many book clubs choose to follow a specific reading list, such as those provided by libraries or bookstores. This can be a great way to ensure that you are reading a diverse range of books and can help to keep the selection process organized.
  4. Choose a mix of classics and contemporary titles: Some book clubs choose to balance their reading lists with a mix of classic and contemporary titles. This can help to keep things interesting and ensure that you are reading a range of different types of books.

Ultimately, the approach you take will depend on the preferences of your book club members and the goals of your group. Experiment with different approaches to see what works best for your club.

How many people should there be in a Book Club?

Deciding on the size of your book club largely depends on the format of your meetings. For a virtual book club, there is no limit to the number of members you can have, as long as everyone has access to the necessary technology and is able to participate in discussions online. However, for a face-to-face book club, it may be more practical to have a smaller group, as it can be more difficult to facilitate discussion and manage logistics with a larger group.

how to start a book clubIn general, a book club with around 6-12 members tends to be the most manageable and enjoyable size. This allows for a good balance of diverse perspectives and allows everyone to have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion. However, ultimately the size of your book club should be determined by what works best for your group and the format of your meetings.

How often should a Book Club meet?

The frequency of meetings for a book club can vary depending on the preferences of the group. Some book clubs may meet once a month, while others may meet every other week or even weekly. It’s important to find a schedule that works for the majority of the group and allows enough time for members to read the selected book. It’s also a good idea to consider the length of the book when deciding on meeting frequency.

For example, if the book is a long, dense read, it may be more practical to meet less frequently to allow more time for reading. On the other hand, if the book is shorter or easier to read, the group may decide to meet more frequently. Ultimately, the frequency of meetings should be decided by the group and should take into account the group’s preferences and the length and difficulty of the chosen book.

Should there be a format for discussing books at Book Clubs?

It can be helpful to have a structured format for discussing books at book clubs, as it can help facilitate a productive and meaningful conversation. This can include setting aside specific time for each member to share their thoughts and feelings about the book, asking open-ended questions to encourage deeper discussions, and setting ground rules for respectful and inclusive dialogue. It can also be helpful to have a leader or moderator to keep the discussion on track and ensure that all members have a chance to participate.

It’s important to keep in mind that the format should be flexible and adaptable, as different books and different groups may require different approaches. Ultimately, the goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for discussing the book and its themes, and for sharing personal insights and experiences. Overall, it’s important to keep in mind that the format should be flexible and adaptable, as different books and different groups may require different approaches. Ultimately, the goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for discussing the book and its themes, and for sharing personal insights and experiences.

Start your own Book Club

In conclusion, starting a book club can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience that can bring people together and encourage a love of reading. Whether you choose to hold your book club in person or virtually, there are plenty of tools and resources available to help you get started. So why not gather a group of friends, pick a book, and start discussing? After all, there’s no better way to get lost in a good book than with a group of like-minded readers. Happy reading!