how to book club

a down and dirty who, what, when, where, why & how of book clubs


First determine what is the purpose of your book club. Is it more social or more down to business? To meet new people or get together with old friends? This will help guide who you invite.


Next, decide what genre of books will you read. Do you have a theme or is anything up for consideration? (ahem, ahem - I Gave Up Men for Lent)


Determine approximately how many people you want in your book club, who they are, and start inviting! A good goal is between 5 - 15 people so everyone has a chance to speak.


Decide where you will meet. Rotate hosting at someone’s house or meet at a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, etc.? If you’ll be meeting at the same spot regularly, you might be able to convince them to give you a discount on food/drinks. (hey - worth a shot!)


Agree upon how often and what time you will meet. Keep in mind people’s reading speeds and free time to read vary. Once a month is typical. It’s tough to coordinate busy schedules. After dinner, when younger kids have gone to bed, is a popular time.


Lastly, you need a process to nominate books and a structure for the discussion. Consider picking 3-4 book options and let the members vote. Or, allow members to nominate books and have all members rank the nominations.

You want to make sure everyone has a chance and feels comfortable to speak during the discussion. As the book club leader, you can come with a list of questions or encourage all members to bring 2-3 questions. For the discussion:

Let others answer first.

Make connections between comments.

Direct questions towards quiet members. Nicely.

Don’t feel pressured to get through all the questions. There’s no need to rush a great conversation.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - be real. laugh. have fun.