Hosting a Book Club
Book clubs are a great way to not only find great new reading material and discuss it with other book lovers, but also to form a social group. If you are planning to start a book club and are going to be the host, these are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Forming Your Book Club
Book clubs are an interesting social gathering because you don’t always have to include just your friends and acquaintances. If you want to start small, it’s a good idea just to invite friends, but you can also open the invitation to people your friends know or, if you want to have a very large book club, you can even post a flyer about at your local library. But it is a good idea to start small, by only inviting a select group of people and allowing your book club to grow from there. Choose people who enjoy reading, as you don’t want your book club to turn into a strictly social event where it is difficult to get people to actually talk about that week’s book. Once you have your core membership, select the first book. There are also some great websites you can consult that will not only suggest good reading for book clubs, but will also provide you with discussion questions that you can use at your first meeting to get you started. Make sure to give your members plenty of notice about the book you have chosen so that they all have time to read it before the meeting.
Setting Up for Your First Meeting
While the focus of the meeting is to discuss the book, it should also be a fun gathering, so treat it like you would a party. It’s just that this party has a very specific theme. You’ll need plenty of seating and it is best to arrange seating in a circle so that all members can see each other during your discussions. Use your sofa and living room furniture and then supplement seating with office chairs and other chairs or ottomans from around your house. You should also serve some sort of refreshments at your book club meeting. If the meeting is in the morning, have lots of coffee and some breakfast foods, such as muffins and bagels. If you are hosting an afternoon or evening book club meeting, buy a couple of bottles of wine and some appetizers such as cheese and crackers. If you want to have more substantial food at your meeting, you can also ask members to each bring a small dish with them.
A book club meeting can be like a small party, but make sure that you accentuate the differences, as, while it will be great to socialize with members, you also need plenty of time to discuss the reading. Don’t use background music and make sure all televisions are turned off, as you don’t want anything to distract from your actual discussion of the book. It is also helpful to set an end time for the meeting.