Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Set Up a Book Club

How to Set Up a Book Club
By: Moi, because I am in one, so I'm totally an expert, right?

1. Invite people

The key here is the mix of people. If you're all friends already, let's be're not going to talk books. You're going to gossip.

So, to combat this, our book club started with two people, my friend Caroline and me. She invited a few people I didn't know; I invited a few she didn't know. Then those people invited people neither of us knew and so on...

Different groups of people also keeps the discussion interesting (though we are ladies-only). At our last meeting, we had some teachers, a nurse, a brewer, two web producers (including moi), a nonprofit PR expert and more.

You're going to have dropouts and people who can't make it month-to-month, so aim for a group of, oh, say, 15 or so to ensure there will be people there every time.

2. Pick a Location

You can have club meetings at a coffee house or restaurant, but we apartment hop. That way, no one has to host more than once a year.


Said hostess usually provides a main course or a yummy spread of appetizers, then other members bring wine, cheese, dessert and more. Bring something or don't—there is no pressure here. It's book club, not Guilt Fest.

We drink a lot of wine at our book club. I suppose if you don't have time to read the book (ME! Guilty! See the header on this blog!), you're still enticed to come for the "Wine Club" aspect.

4. Pick a Book

The hostess with the mostest comes armed with three to five books of her choice, which we then put to a vote. You can vote an unlimited amount of times—it's more of a "Would I read this or not?" type of vote. Whichever book gets the most votes from the group wins! That's what we'll read for the next meeting.

5. Schedule the Next One

While we're there, someone offers up a spot for the next meeting and we set a date. We like to do Wednesday nights at 7 p.m., and they usually last time 9:30 or so. Every six weeks works out pretty well for us.

Ta-da! That's all it takes. We've been doing this for about two years now. And I love it so. At tonight's meeting, we'll be discussing our first YA book. Some were not so happy with that choice, but after reading a LOT of books about gangs and serial killers, I was pretty pumped. The book:

Bellwether Prize winner The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

Anyone else out there in a book club? Any more suggestions for book club newbies?

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. I'm a part of a book club. It consists of four people: myself, my sister, my cousin, and my friend...I've known these people my whole life. I'm probably not the person to ask for any suggestions. We all pretty much only read YA so it's great.

  2. Oh your book club sounds fabulous! If I were in Chicago, I would so be there :-) I've never done the book club thing. I attempted to meet a group of ladies for Bunco night before - but that turned in to drunk fest usually lol!

  3. I recently moved to a new city and jusst joined one thru :)

  4. I keep trying to set up a book club but my friends are all so busy! Maybe if I tell them that there will be wine... ;) Your book club sound like so much fun! I'm jealous lol.

  5. I would totally love to form a book club. I think the only problem would be trying to carve out time to actually hold it every month or so!

  6. Yea, we're in our own little dorky book club, but we do crafts! We have homemade bookmarks, tote bags, and we are making calendars at our next meeting. :)

  7. Sounds like a lot of fun! Great tips -- especially about the "not all friends" part because I know a lot of book clubs that don't really have anything to do with books, if you know what I mean.

  8. I've been wanting to be in a book club forEVER, but can't find another friend who wants to join! I think that's part of the reason why I like blogging so much - there are so many people who actually want to talk about books! The comment above about definitely piqued my interest. I'm going to go check it out...

  9. This is helpful, thank you. I haven't found a book club in my area so perhaps I'll use your tips and set up one of my own.


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