A great way to enjoy reading is to join a book club. You are socially interacting with others who have a similar interest. You learn about new books. But sometimes you face a delimma. There is not always one available in your town. There are many that are online that you can enjoy, but you miss out on the face to face discussions.
What is the solution? Start your own book club.
Before Getting Started
Before announcing that there is a book club, you need to get it organized. You need to know what you are doing and have it laid out for all participants.
To start a book club, you need to lay out the ground rules before the first meeting. You need to ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of books will you be reading? Will this be a mystery book club, classic book club, romance book club, adventure book club, religious book club, or a bestseller book club?
- How often will you meet? Most book clubs meet once a month.
- When will you meet? Actually, this question could be discussed at your first meeting to see what day and time fits everyone’s schedule the best.
- Where will the meetings take place? At a fixed location or rotate from house to house?
- Who will be the leader? This should not be the host.
- How are the books decided on? Does the leader choose or can the members make suggestions?
If you do not have these questions answered before the first meeting, it might just be chaos with a few people getting upset. Once you know the answers, you can begin letting people know.
Who do you have to participate? Maybe you have already talked about this with family and friends and found those who want to join it. That’s a great start. But you can open to anyone.
Book clubs can be for adults or children. There are way too few of them for teenagers and children to enjoy. Adults can find some at the local library or religious affiliation. Children might find one at school, but that is not a common thing. Maybe it should be. Start one for adults or teens/children.
Put up signs at the library, grocery stores, and even in the paper. If your town has an event website, add it to that. Put it in the church bulletin. If it is a book club aimed at the youth, talk to the schools and see how they can help promote it.
There are online sites like MeetUp where any group can post their meetings for anyone in their area to join them. You can even charge a fee to help pay for the meeting place.
Where to Meet
You could have the meeting in your home. If you have a small group of people you know pretty well, see about rotating where it meets. If you have a group that you are unfamiliar with, check with the local library, a diner, or a bar. Look at the makeup of your group to decide on where the best location is.
Before the first meeting, be well prepared and organized. At your first meeting to discuss a book (typically your second meeting), have a list of questions ready to help spark conversation. Keep the group on topic. At the end of the meeting as everyone’s overall opinion. You might even want to ask anyone to write up a review so that you can post it on a website.
Being involved in a book club is fun, and starting one yourself can be exciting and daunting. Be prepared and always in control. And the most important thing is to enjoy reading.