How to Start a Book Club You Love This Year

As a book club enthusiast, I highly recommend that everyone joins a book club! It’s so fun to get together with other readers and discuss page-turning, thought-provoking books. If you’re thinking about starting a book club, I’ve put together some tips for how to create and organize a fun and engaging book club every member will love.

book club snacks on serving trays next to an open book on a wooden coffee table

Why start a book club?

Book clubs are a great way to keep in touch with friends and meet new people who also love to read! Also, discussing books with others allows us to reflect on our own feelings about a book while also hearing others’ perspectives.

I’ve been a member of my current book club for a while now, and I’ve loved every minute of it!

I’ve grown closer to friends, met new ones, and learned new things. Being in a book club has also pushed me to read a wider variety of books than I might have normally read – and introduced me to new favorite authors and genres!

How to Start a Book Club

Now, let’s talk about how to actually get started creating a new book club!

Step 1: Invite Members

First off, decide who you want to include in your book club! You can start with friends or family (whether they’re already readers or not). Or, you can use an app like Meetup or Nextdoor to find local book lovers in your area.

(One note: it’s probably best to meet in a public place if you’re starting a book club with members you don’t yet know.)

There is no hard-and-fast rule as to how large or small a book club should be. You can have two members or 100 members. (Though 100 members might get to be a bit unmanageable, depending on the logistics!).

Keep in mind that your book club size will change over time. People may drop out (due to moving or other factors), and current members may invite their friends and family to join.

Step 2: Discuss Logistics (Meeting Location)

Next, you’ll want to decide on a meeting location for your book club! Will you meet at someone’s home (the same one or a different one each month)? Or, maybe you’d rather meet in a central place like a library, coffee shop, or restaurant?

Libraries often have a meeting room that can be rented out. If you’d rather meet at a coffee shop or restaurant, you might need to reserve a private room or area (depending on the size of your group). It’s best to call ahead to make sure!

Be sure to discuss this with your group members ahead of time, so everyone is comfortable with the arrangement.

Step 3: Decide How to Pick Your Monthly Book Club Book

Now onto the fun part of planning: choosing your first (or next) book club read! Here are some ideas for how to pick:

  • Choose from a book club recommendations list (like these must-read book club books for 2024 or these heartwarming and funny book club reads!)
  • Have the person who’s hosting book club that month decide
  • Let members suggest a handful of book options, then create a poll for all the members to decide that month’s pick
  • Have each member write down a book on a piece of paper, and put them all in a jar. Each month, pull a book title from the jar for the group to read.
  • Follow along with a celebrity book club, like the Good Morning America (GMA) Book Club, Oprah’s Book Club, or Reese’s Book Club
two stacks of books on a grey chair with a plant beside it

Try to make sure everyone gets a say in the monthly read. I highly recommend switching up the genres you read each month, too, to keep things interesting! You never know when you’ll find a new favorite book or author.

Step 4: Prepare Book Club Discussion Questions

No matter which book you’ve picked for book club that month, there’s always something to talk about! It can help to have a set of questions ready ahead of time, in order to prompt a lively discussion.

Here’s my list of discussion-sparking book club questions that can be used for any book! You can also search on Google to see if someone has created specific discussion questions for the book you’re reading. (For example, this list of Remarkably Bright Creatures book club questions or The Women book club questions.)

Just print them out and bring them to the meeting! You don’t even have to use them – but they can be a handy backup in case the discussion stalls.

a woman sitting on a grey chair with an open book on her lap next to a mug of coffee

Step 5: Boost Book Club Member Engagement

When it comes to organizing a group of people, communication is key!

Once you have your core book club members, start a text group chat. Having a group chat creates a welcoming environment, so everyone can feel involved. Be sure to invite new members to the chat as they join.

Each month, send a text with details about the meeting location, meeting time, and that month’s book pick.

Other details that might be helpful for people to know include parking information and whether or not food or drinks will be available at the meeting.

Use polls to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. You can even let people vote by sending multiple messages with different options and asking people to ‘like’ or ‘heart’ their preferred choice. (For example, what date/time to meet for the upcoming month).

For the book club I’m in, whoever is hosting the next book club sends a text with the details ahead of time. Then, anyone who plans to attend will ‘like’ that text. That way, the host knows how many people to expect.

Step 6: Figure Out Snacks & Drinks

Book club snacks and/or drinks are almost as important as the book itself. 😉 Here are some ideas to make sure no one goes hungry or thirsty during your book club meetings:

  • Have every member bring a snack or drink to each meeting to share (potluck-style)
  • Agree that the host of that month’s meeting will provide the snacks/drinks (this is what our book club usually does, on a rotating basis)
  • Meet at a location that offers food, such as a coffee shop or restaurant
  • Decide that snacks and drinks aren’t essential for your book club

I hope this post has inspired you to start a book club! I look forward to my book club meetings every month, and I know you will, too. 🙂

Do you have any extra tips for someone who’s looking to start their own book club? Let me know in the comments!

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