The way we consume books may have changed from paperbacks and hard covers to electronic tablets, phones, and audiobooks, but one thing about reading that hasn’t changed is the enjoyment that comes from sharing a great book.
It’s a unique joy to find someone who’s read the same book as you, but you can be more intentional about sharing good books by participating in a book club, a deeply rewarding but inexpensive entertainment option.
Book clubs are so flexible that they can be adapted to suit children, children and parents, teens, women, men, church groups, or groups built around almost any interest or book genre.
For many, book clubs provide not only an occasion to read great books, which expand knowledge and develop empathy, but to build camaraderie and friendship as well. It’s a great way to tick books off of your to-read list and also discover new books based on club members’ favorite books and suggestions.
The book itself becomes a great ice breaker. Members come to know one another in a safe environment where the discussion is book-focused, not highly personal, with people taking turns sharing their reactions and insights. In fact, lifelong friendships have developed at book clubs where sharing a good book leads to sharing experiences, meals, and life as well.
So, how do you get a book club off the ground?
Start with friends and acquaintances, but if you’re expanding beyond your circle, try posting a notice at the local library, bookstore, church, school, or even the community bulletin board at your local grocery store, post office, or neighborhood app. If your group is online, you can find readers in Facebook or Goodreads groups.
Where should you meet? If you’re able to meet in real life, someone’s home or backyard is a great place, but it you’re looking for a public locale, try your public library, local bookstore, coffee shop, public park, or community center. If you’re only able to meet online, set up a call using a variety of video services or set up a Facebook or Goodreads group.
Not sure what to read? Poll members for suggestions or draw on various lists of recommendations at your local library or online. If you have a rotating club meeting host, allow the host to pick the selection.
Resources for Book Clubs
Did you know that many authors are thrilled to drop in - in person or virtually - at one of your book club meetings? Simply contact the author with an invitation.
Some authors also offer discussion questions for use by book clubs either in the back of the book or on the author’s website.
Publishers may offer discounted prices for book clubs. An independent author or one with a small press may be able to offer a group discount for purchasing books for use in your club.