Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Starting a book club, what do I do now?

Alright, I have been chosen to start a book club for a group of women and as of I have never done this, I am looking for all the advice you can give. I have started a check-list of basics for a book club to discuss.

Here is my check-list of things to discuss with the ladies who want me to start the club:

Create a name for our book club.
When should we meet every month?
What type of Book Club? 
Special events?
Should we have a book blog?
Should we have a Facebook group?
Where should we meet each month? 

Alright, what am I missing? What else should be discussed at the first meeting while we begin building a book club? Help?!?!

Seriously any advice, anything you can tell me about getting a book club put together would be very much appreciated! 

Thank you in advance! 


  1. I have a few questions that you may want to include in your first discussion. These are based on my own experience with a very successful book club that I was a member of for several years:

    - If you're going to meet at someone's house--or rotate meetings at different people's houses--you'll need to decide on the format. Do you dive right into the discussion, or have a beverage/meal and a chit chat first? If the latter, do you need to impose a time limit on the chit chat to make sure you actually get around to the book discussion.

    - Do you want to rate the books? At my old book club, we'd start the discussion with each of us giving the book a rating between 0 to 10, with 0 being "Worst book I ever read" and 10 being "Best book I ever read." (There were verbal ratings attached to all the other numbers too. It worked well, because we then went into the comments knowing roughly where other people stood.

    - What's the discussion format going to look like? For example, at my club, we'd do the ratings, then we'd each give our comments with NO interruptions (so hard!), and then we'd open it up for discussion.

    - How are you going to choose the books? Will members have veto power if they've already read a particular title or have absolutely no interest in reading it? Will you choose a new book at the end of each meeting, or will you all come prepared with a list of possible titles and make a plan for the next few months?

    - Will you all have to purchase the chosen book, or will you only choose books that are available through the public library so that people who don't want to purchase don't have to? If you're purchasing, is there anyone in the group who doesn't have an ereader? If so, you may want to look at having a rule that the chosen books need to be available in paperback.

    - If you have a book blog or a FB page, will these be public or private? If they're public, is this going to inhibit free discussion? For example, if I knew my comments were going to be posted to a public site, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying anything too harsh, because I don't believe it's terribly constructive for authors to slam one another publicly.

    - If you're going to have a blog and/or a FB page, who is going to be responsible for taking the notes during the meeting and then posting them? Or will you share this responsibility?

    - What will be the process for inviting new members into the group? Will there be an opportunity to vet new members? At my club, if we wanted to invite someone new into the group, we'd ask them to join us as a guest first so that the group could get a feel for them and they could get a feel for the group.

    - What's the maximum number of people you want in the group? You'll want to have enough people for a good discussion with diversity of opinion, but not so many that no one has enough time to really get into things, nor so few that if a couple of people can't make it you don't have enough for a good discussion.

    - How long will the meetings be?

    And I'd say that's enough out of me! Good luck with your club--I hope you find it as rewarding as I found mine.

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much!!! I hadn't even thought of all of those options and things to think about while putting a club together. Thank you, thank you, thank you!