Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Start a Book Club

This is a first for all of us. At age 26, none of us have been members of a book club, discussed a book in an organized fashion, and we, especially, have not started our own club.

Please join us as we take our first novel (pun intended) steps in beginning a new chapter (I promise to get these puns out of the way early) in our young adult lives. We will adjust to reading books for pleasure; discussing books with Q&As and notes and order; and opening up about our thoughts and opinions with munchies, wine, coffee, and friends.

When we decided to start a book club our first question was: what's the book. Our second question was: when do we meet (since we have busy schedules - hence the blog's title). Our third question was: how do we do this.

Maybe we asked these in the wrong order.

Here are some basic steps in starting a book club:
  1. Intentions. What do you hope to get out of having a book club? What type of books do you want to read? How many people do you want in your club? How often will you meet?
  2. Members. If you already have a group of friends interested, that helps a lot. If/when prospective members contact you for more info, explain the purpose of the book club, the number of members you're looking for, and find out what types of books they are interested in reading.
  3. Meeting Place. These locations can also determine the size of your club: a restaurant, library, bookstore, or your living room will all work well. Or you can meet virtually. Start a discussion thread and maintain comments that way. Or you can set up Skype or G-Chat for those members who live out of town.
  4. Food. Will refreshments be served? (This is a no-brainer for us.) But this could also limit your meeting place. Determine who will bring what. Take turns and/or limit the items. Or link the food to the theme of the book.
  5. Price. Is there a price limit to the books you'll be reading? Paperbacks only, for instance.
  6. Choose. How do you decide on the book?
    1. Ask everyone attending the book club meeting to bring two book suggestions.
    2. Vote.
    3. Simply take turns suggesting.
    4. Use suggestions from Oprah, Amazon, or New York Times.
  7. Discussion. Having discussion questions before your book club meets will help facilitate a good discussion of your book. As you read each novel, jot down page numbers of passages that moved you, questions that development, or opinions you had.  Many publishers' websites now offer reading guides or discussion questions for their titles. And you can find many generic questions online. Plus, we will post our questions for the book on our blog (I promise without checking with my BCers).
  8. Fun. Finally, it is important to remember this is not school. The BCers at All Booked Up are busy! Yes, it is important to finish reading the book, but don't pressure yourself or crame all the reading in at the last minute. We are not studying for finals, we finding a way enjoy life and another excuse to get together with friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment