How to Have a Successful Book Club
Decide on the tone and theme of the club.
Do you and your friends like Thrillers? How about Biographies? Decide whether your book club will focus on one genre or have a democracy on what to read next. Make sure to set the tone, too! Will the club have firm, but friendly debates, or will it be a reason to get away from the kids?
Tell everyone you know.
Invite friends, family, and coworkers to your book club and collect e-mail addresses. Inform them of the tone and theme of club so they know what they're getting themselves into. Keep the size to a manageable amount, but remember to over-invite; if you want 10 members, invite 15. If you're new to an area, post flyers throughout the community and at your local bookstore or library.
Agree on a mutual and maintainable schedule.
Make sure that the majority of the group can regularly attend and stay the entire time. Creating a schedule in which others have had input helps with retention. If the club can only meet immediately after work, discussing the book over dinner is a great idea. On the other hand, meeting after dinner, when younger kids have gone to bed, is a common choice.
Pick a convenient location.
Lots of groups meet at each other's homes, but if your schedules are hectic and you don't have time to prepare your place, selecting a comfortable restaurant will work as well — you can even ask for a discount if you’ll be meeting there regularly.
Finalize how books and moderators will be chosen.
For the first meeting, it makes sense for you to suggest the title and prepare a few discussion questions. Depending on the seriousness level of the group, you may want to do a bit of research on the author, time period, etc. Moving forward, every member should have a voice. Don’t want to deal with the committee selection process? Follow a best-seller list or recommendations from a website that focuses on your genre. It’s a nice courtesy for the moderator of the next meeting to send everyone a reminder e-mail a few days beforehand.
Keep in touch outside of meeting times.
Use social media or consider starting a blog to stay involved with each other. You’ll save time by eliminating the need for group e-mails, and it will come in handy when you’re recruiting new members.
*adapted from Real Simple
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