Getting Started: How to Start a Book Club
“When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night — there‘s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.” —Christopher Morley
Five Steps to Starting a Book Club
Step One: Decide what kind of Book Club you want to start.
- Is the purpose of your Book Club to read or to socialize?
- Do you want to read a specific genre, bestsellers, high literature, etc.?
- Browse Reading Guides by Genre:
Step Two: Based on the type of Book Club you have decided upon, choose a setting.
- Do you want to meet in someone’s home, in a public space, in an online forum, through a blog or website, etc.? How often do you want to meet? Once a month is the standard, but if you plan on reading longer books you may want to meet every 6 weeks.
- How to Host a Book Club Online.
- Coordinating a time and a place to meet is one of the largest challenges for many book clubs. Hosting your Book Club online makes meeting easy and convenient for members wherever they may be.
- Book Club Community Sites:
- TheReadingRoom is a great space to both host and find an existing Book Club.
- Penshelf allows you to create an open discussion around the books you include on your bookshelf. You can also connect with other members including those in your book club as well as the Penshelf community.
- Online Forums easy-to-use discussion boards that can be accessed at anytime
- Video Chat Meetings have your meetings face-to-face through the screen
Step Three: Invite Your Members.
- The ideal size of a Book Club is between 8 and 16 members
- A great way to gather a large diverse group is to invite 3-5 people and ask each of them to invite 3 or 4 friends.
Step Four: Set up a Pre-Book Book Club Meeting.
- Gather everyone together to discuss the first book option, the permanent meeting location and time, how the Book Club will be run, and the goals for the Book Club.
- Bring one or two options for meeting times and the first book. Take a vote if you would like to have everyone involved in the decision making process.
Step Five: Select your first book and send out a Meeting Schedule for the remainder of the year.