My first book club failed bigtime, but I think that’s because I didn’t follow a few simple rules of thumb.
1) Only invite people you know enjoy reading. Seems obvious, but sometimes you want all of your friends to join and that’s just not a reality.
2) Switch off who picks the book and let them choose whatever they want. Last time we did a voting system, but I think people feel more involved if they have total control of the book every once in awhile.
3) Pick a date to meet well in advance. People read at different paces, this will allow slow readers to get a head start and fast readers to read other stuff until event time. We pick dates by using Survey Monkey and voting for a time that works for the majority of the group.
4) Bring your book to the meeting. Nothing worse than trying to talk about a specific section of the book without a reference guide. Also, our last book was Robinson Crusoe, which has TONS of different versions. How else would the club find out that Emily read the children’s version, had she not brought it to the meeting?
5) Come prepared with discussion questions. It is surprisingly easy to run out of things to talk about if you don’t prepare in advance. Your questions don’t have to be mind benders, but something to stimulate conversation beyond “So, did you like it?”.
What other ideas do you have for a successful book club?