My love of reading started with my dad.
We would buy books at a secondhand store, read them aloud together, and then take them back to get more.
I loved being transported to magical lands, where anything was possible.
So, it’s no surprise that I’ve always wanted to belong to a book club.
The only problem was that I wasn’t aware of any.
The answer: start my own.
If you feel the same way, here are some key questions to answer that should guide you in starting your own book club!
Book Club Components:
Fortunately for me, I taught among colleagues who shared my desire for a book club, so finding members wasn’t an issue.
Try to find people who not only like the idea of being in a book club, but who will also have a commitment to the group.
I’ve heard that 7-10 members is the maximum number for book club success. That way, if a couple of people can’t make a particular meeting, there is still an adequate number to have the discussion.
Mine has varied, but now stands at 6. Always, always, always, there are some people who can’t make it.
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That leads me to the next question, when? My group decided that weekends would make a better meeting time for most of us, so we meet every 6 weeks, on Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Because we always have someone absent, for one reason or another, we’ve decided that every third meeting will be a Saturday brunch meeting at 11:00 a.m.
Different is good, right? Plus, it opens the door for those who might have a Sunday afternoon commitment, like work, to come on Saturday instead.
Be aware, then, that the timing may have to be changed as the group evolves.
Finally, how? We choose a one-year roster of books at our April meeting. Everyone has input, offering at least one selection, if not two.
It’s incredible to me how diversified our topic list is!
See for yourself:
May 22: “What Pet Should I Get?” Dr. Seuss
July 3: “The Run of His Life,” Jeffrey Toobin
Saturday Brunch, August 13: “Jacob’s Ladder,” Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
September 25: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,”
November 6: “The Nightingale,” Kristin Hannah
Saturday Brunch, December 10: ” The Blue Zones,” Dan Buettner
January 22: “Circling the Sun,” Paula McLain
March 5: “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Sunday Brunch, April 8: “The Sense of an Ending,” Julian Barnes
May 21: “The Poisonwood Bible,” Barbara Kingsolver
At each meeting, everyone brings a dish to share, and we socialize for at least an hour or so before beginning our book discussion.
Someone will offer to summarize the book for those who haven’t read it.
We don’t use specific study guides or questions; we analyze characters, plot, setting, etc., while discussing whether we like the book or not.
Honestly, though, sometimes we don’t like the book, so we spend about five minutes talking about our dislike and then socializing the rest of the time!
Yes, forming and sustaining a book club takes work. A lot of it.
Having said that, I encourage you to find the people, time, and format for a book club that works for you and your friends. If you’re a voracious reader like I am, you’ll love it!
(Take a book with you and enjoy the beach at a fabulous vacation spot for the whole family!)
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