Are you the type who forces every fantastic read you come across on everyone you know? Ever finished a book and wished you could dissect it with a like-minded friend? Maybe you’re looking for fresh literary inspiration to replenish your reading pile? If so, a book club might just be the perfect thing for you. Here are the basics on how to start one.
1. Spread the word
Tell friends or work colleagues that you’re keen to start a book club and invite a group of people to the first meeting. After one session, you’ll get a fair idea of who might be committed to an ongoing book club, and how the personalities and interests of your members gel.
2. Set the tone
Will you stick to one genre such as crime or Australian literature? Maybe you only want to read debut authors or classics? Or is anything on the table?
3. Make a plan
Firstly, decide how often you will meet (once a month, every six weeks etc) and whether you will stick to the same day and time for each meeting. Perhaps you’ll become the Last Thursday book club. To start, allocate a time that works for everyone. After the first meeting, you can decide how long your book club should run – an hour, two hours or maybe even more.
4. Pick a memorable name
Decide on what the group will be called – that way when you email your fellow book-clubbers you can refer to the whole gang with one title. It’s also fun to belong to a group with catchy branding. Will it be Prosé and Rosé? Or Read Between the Wines? How about Books and Beverages? There are some great ways to theme your book club with food or drinks, so get creative and see what your club enjoys.
5. Choose a location
There are many places you can meet for a book club. If you’ve chosen a Sunday afternoon as the best time, why not meet in a park? Or see if there is a local bookshop or coffee shop where you can gather (just avoid peak times when you might struggle with noise and space). Will you change the location for each meeting or have it at the same place? If you decide to hold them at home, share the load and spread out hosting duties.
6. Picking titles
If you've taken the plunge to start your own book club, it's likely you've got a title in mind. From there, perhaps each person gets to pick one book in turn, or maybe at the end of each meeting people can suggest books to be put to a vote. You might find your group loved a particular title, and decide to read something else by the same author, something else from that genre or with similar themes.
7. Read and explore
There’s a huge amount of information available on most authors and titles – dig a little deeper to surprise and delight your book buddies. To start you off, check out our book club notes, which are great for getting the discussion rolling. Or you can search around for extra content such as recipes, author Q&As or videos – things to add a different slant to your discussion.
Have your first book club meeting and see how it goes. From there, you might want to make adjustments to the time or topics (or people you invite). With the first one under your belt, you’ll get a sense of how the book club can be best run to everyone’s enjoyment.
Now that you’re ready to start a book club, find some inspiration with our Book Club Classics.