September 24, 2018

How to start your own damn book club


Whether you’re looking to meet people, discover new books, discuss awesome stories over drinks, or get an event series off the ground at your book shop, book clubs are a great resource.

Photo via Jaredd Craig/Unsplash

Here’s how to start your own book club.

1. Pick a central theme. Is this group focused solely on a specific genre or two? Emerging writers? Non-fiction? Memoirs? Poetry? You get to decide.

2. Figure out a definitive time and place. Is your group getting together over video chat, a library, a bar, or will you be hosting the meetings at your home? Be realistic about how often your book clubs meets and for how long. Regardless of whether your group meets in person or online, sending out calendar reminders and event invites will keep your club running smoothly in the future.

3. Keep digital records. Documents are often handing from tracking potential new reads, curating members, storing discussion questions, and general group guidelines. These records might inspire you (or a member) to start a blog, record meetings for a YouTube channel, or start a newsletter.

4. Ask for support. Friends and other community members can strengthen a club. Ask for volunteers to be moderators (besides you) and foster new connections.

5. Create structure. You don’t need to hand out bullet-point agendas at every meeting, but providing thoughtful discussion questions, topics, and more adds meaning and continuity to your book club. With questions or even a panel discussion, these elements let everyone in your group have a voice. And, that’s vital.

6. Be open. Other members can and should contribute, too. Whether it’s nominating a book, inviting new people, or constructive criticism, let your book group evolve.

Stephanie Valente is the Digital Marketing Manager at Melville House.