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How to Host a Book Club

lots of books spread outIn today’s world, it takes real effort to get beyond a screen and connect with people. Creating a book club can be a great way to do just that.

You give yourself permission to stop, pause, and take time to read (or listen to!) a great book. And you schedule time with others who share some of your interests at least once a month. What could be better?

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Choose a Theme

Choosing a focused theme for your book club can help attract people you have more in common with. For example, you’re likely to make better friends if you specify that you’re running a mystery or science fiction book club than you would be running a more general one.

Plus, you make it more likely that your participants will read the book. If over half of them aren’t interested in what the others are proposing, getting people engaged or even getting them to meetings will be difficult.

P.S. — Listening to an audiobook counts as reading the book. We’re all tired, and not everyone absorbs information the same way. Let your members absorb the book in any way that’s meaningful for them.

2. Choose a Low-Key Time

people reading togetherBe mindful of the times that could cause problems.

Choosing a restaurant dinner once a month with everyone either picking up their check or rotating through who pays is one option.

An afternoon and weekend slot at someone’s home can be more casual and budget-friendly.  You can rotate between homes, set up a tea or coffee service, and perhaps put together some sort of neat snack or dessert offering.

3. Do a Little Decorating

red white and blue flower decorationsBook club may be low-key, but you don’t have to skimp on the decorations. Doing a little decorating could spark interest and improve the sense of fun your members feel around your meetings.

For example, you could pick themes from the book to create a centerpiece or other decoration. Did the book involve lots of world travel? Print out maps to use as placemats. Did the book take place in Paris? Put out a few Eiffel Tower balloons.

4. Spark Conversation

You don’t have to keep book club ultra-serious. You can create some fun ways to spark conversation. For example, you could hide a topic or discussion point on paper, put it in a balloon, and let a guest pop the balloon to get the topic. Or you can get creative with paper to create a “mysterious envelope” or scroll that will sit under a guest’s placemat or chair. Create and give out bookmarks, and write discussion topics on the back of one of them. Let the person who finds the topic lead the discussion.

The sky is the limit, depending on the book.

Start Your Book Club Today 

rows of books for saleDon’t have a book club yet?

Advertise your book club at the library, on Nextdoor, and on Facebook. You only need two or three takers to get something going. Ideally, you’ll get a nice mix of new friends and old friends.

Some book clubs last decades. Use your imagination to create some traditions, and yours might, too!

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