Did you know that the reason I write for this blog is because of a book club? In high school I bonded with Co-Editor-in-Chief Kayla through a YA Sci-fi & Fantasy book club that she ran at the local Borders (R.I.P.). Book clubs are a great way to meet fellow book geeks and nerd out about your favorite genre. But what do you do if you can’t find the perfect book club in your area? Start your own, of course. I’ll tell you how.
The first two things you need are members and a venue. Let’s start with the venue. It can be your home, of course, if you have the space, especially if you already are close with the people in your group. If you would rather meet somewhere more public, check with your local bookstore or library to see if they have meeting space available. I bet they do! If not, you can try a cafe as a last resort, although it is hard to guarantee that there will be seats when you need them.
As for members, this will depend on what kind of book club you want to be. Is this just between close friends or coworkers, or open to the general public? What’s your niche or theme? College alumni? Historical fiction lovers? Comic connoisseurs? If it’s open to the public, how will you advertise? Try asking your venue to promote it on their website or if you can hang up flyers. If it’s an alumni group, recruit members through your listserv, local alumni outreach office, and facebook group. The website Meetup is also a fantastic way to find a group of like-minded individuals.
Next, pick a date and time. Make sure you coordinate with your fellow members to see when they are available.
Lastly, you need to pick a book. Decide if you want to complete a book together before your first meeting, or if you will hold a general meeting first and decide on a book there. How will your club decide what books to read? Will you, as leader, make an executive decision? Will you all vote on it democratically? Organically decide through informal discussion? Follow some list you found on Goodreads? Let each member take a turn suggesting a book? Make sure you always pick the book for next time at the end of each meeting so that people have time to prepare.
There you go; if you follow these easy tips, you’ll be blabbering about your favorite books to a roomful of sympathetic listeners in no time.
Are you a member of any book clubs? If you were to start one, what kind would you start? Let me know in the comments!