We love books. All kinds of books. Novels and short stories. Fiction and picture books. The only problem with books is that we don’t have enough time to read them all!
A book club is a great way to delve even deeper into the world of book lovers. It is a lot of fun to start your own. Starting a book club doesn’t have to be intimidating, although it may feel that way.
Probably the most important step is to consider what you want your book club to be. Do you want to only read certain kinds of books? Do you want the group to be 50% book-discussion and 50% social, or would you prefer it be 90%/10%? Do you want to meet at public spaces or in people’s homes? Will it always be in your home or will you rotate homes? How often will you meet? Monthly? Quarterly? All fiction or all nonfiction? Having an idea about what you want will go a long way in helping ensure the book club is a success and that you are satisfied with what you create.
Once you have a firm idea of what you want your book club to be, the next step is finding people who want to be a part of it. You may already know friends from work or school who have mentioned an interest in a book club, and if you do, let them know your plans. If you run your plans by a few people and they don’t love some of your ideas, you may decide to tweak some things so that it is easier to get others to come on board.
The next step is to hold the book club and have realistic expectations about it (and maybe the first several book club meetings you have). Every endeavor, from having a child to launching a business, has a learning curve, and this is true for book clubs too. It may take a while to get into a groove. Some people who join may decide they can’t commit to the reading schedule or life events may get in everyone’s way occasionally, but the core of the group will be there routinely and they will be grateful for the little community you have made.
Communication is important to the success of a book club, whether that be keeping everyone in the loop as to when the next meeting is and what the selected book is or deciding as a group how you want to handle how (and how many) new members can join the club.
Remember, though, that a book club is about enjoying books. And having fun! If those two things are happening, your book club is a success! We hope you try a book club- either by starting one or attending one because they are a lot of fun. At the 2022 Louisville Book Festival, we hosted a session called Extreme Book Clubbing! There is a lot of literature out there if you feel you need a little more guidance than we have given here. Book lovers love book clubs. Let us know if you try it!