Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction

Starting a Book Club?

Thinking about starting a book club? Then you might find these suggestions helpful.

  • Meeting Place: If the idea is to enjoy the book along with some fellowship, then choose a comfortable place to meet such as a good-sized room in a person’s home, a private room at your local library, or a meeting room at your church. You may want to consider having a back-up meeting place, too, in the event the regular meeting place is unavailable. Some prefer to rotate their location, while others prefer to keep the location the same (less to keep track of).
  • Time: I suggest you have a start and an end time, maybe about two to two and a half hours long, depending upon the size of the group. Realistically, allow time for socializing.
  • How Often? As often as you like, but I recommend monthly on the first Tuesday or the second Monday, etc. IMPORTANT: Meetings times should not change unless the group makes a collective decision.
  • Hosts & Leaders: It’s good to have co-leaders, perhaps one to handle the communication (email, text, and calls) between members and the other to lead the book discussion.
  • Choosing a Book: Whoever suggests a book should research the book prior to making the suggestion, including reading book reviews and finding out if the book includes discussion points and questions. Some groups take turns choosing books.
  • Invite the Author: Invite the author to join you, either virtually or in person, if they live nearby. Authors love to talk about their characters and how they got mixed up in their stories.
  • Book Discussions: Read the book and come prepared to discuss it. Keep it interesting, keep it challenging, stay on topic! Reading an especially well-written excerpt is a great conversation starter, too.
  • Set the Tone: Decide in advance if you want your discussions to be academic, esoteric, or light. Sometimes it’s more about fellowship; the book is secondary. You decide.
  • Club Size: Eight to twelve people is best.
  • Refreshments: It’s up to your group, but I prefer to stick with just beverages, mainly because it helps keep our eyes focused on the book, not the dessert. Besides, some locations do not allow food or beverages.

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