Have you ever thought about starting your own book club? I sure have, I think it would be the most marvelous thing in the world! If you don't know of any book clubs in your area, or the ones you've discovered through libraries and book shops simply aren't your thing, starting your own book club is a wonderful alternative. You get some say so in the books you read but you can make it a collaborative effort with the people you invite, and you'll get to spend time with people who share your interests. Win!
1. Pick Your Overall Type
The great thing about starting your own book club is that you have a say in what kind of book club you want. Do you want it to be a really formal affair, a ladies-who-lunch sort of event? A society sort of club is right up your alley. Would you like a high-brow wine and cheese kind of club? Maybe you're more laid back and simply want to meet informally, dressed in comfy clothes with some low-key cocktails or cups of coffee. The choice is yours!
2. Choose the Genres You Want
This choice is yours, also. Do you prefer nonfiction or fiction? Are you interested in reading through the classics or do you enjoy contemporary literature more? In my opinion, it's better to have a well rounded book club that can include any kind of book, but your mileage may vary, and that's the beauty of starting your own club. You can focus on whatever books you'd like!
3. Get Some Help
Do you have friends who love to read too? If you've got girlfriends or colleagues with whom you always discuss books anyway, ask them to lend a hand. You can be co-founders! That will also take some of the burden off your shoulders and make it easier to get (and stay) organized.
4. Start Recruiting
You can't have a book club without members! Start with your close friends but don't stop there. Have them ask their friends and family members, talk to yours as well, and invite people to make recommendations. Just remember to decide beforehand whether or not you want to put a cap on membership.
5. Come up with a Schedule
Are you interested in having chic luncheon meetings or elegant dinner meetings? Do you want to meet on the weekends or during the weeknights when you have free time? Set up a schedule that works with most, if not all, of your group members. Don't be too strict, though. You have to make allowances for jobs, kids, families, and things of that nature. It's great to have a set day or night, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, but you might have to be more relaxed.
6. Scour the Bookstores
Not only should you scour local bookstores for new books to read, you can also get deals! Talk to owners of independently owned shops or super-bookstores and see if they offer discounts for book clubs. You might be able to get some money shaved off your bill or you could even find a new place to meet!
7. Outline Your Meetings
How do you want your meetings to go? Discussing books is a ton of fun, but you should figure out if you want to, say, follow the discussion questions included in many books, summarize the plots, make up your own discussions, or just let the topics flow as they will. You might want to experiment over a few meetings and let your book club fall into its own rhythm!
See? Starting your own book club isn't hard at all, it just takes some organization – and a healthy interest in books, of course. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help in getting it off the ground, and don't feel so shy that you're afraid to ask possible participants if they're interested. Do you think you might like to start your own reading club?