Want to Start Your Own Book Club? Here Are 5 Things to Consider

by Karen Green

Thinking of starting your own book club? Go for it! But before you do, take a look at these five things you’ll need to help get your book club off the ground and keep it going for years.

A statement of purpose

This is not as serious as it sounds, but there is a bit of thought and groundwork that needs to be done in order to start and maintain a successful book club. The why/where/how of your book club are the most important details to nail down, and the ones that you’ll be using to entice others to join.

Think of it like an elevator pitch: I’m starting a Ladies Who Listen audiobook club to discuss fiction audio books one evening every two months at the Lucky Perk Coffee House. We’ll take turns picking the titles. Would love to have you join!

A list of potential members

This is an important step, so give it lots of thought. It’s not just about being a reader. Your members don’t necessarily have to all come from the same social circle, but consider personality when making your list. You need people who will show up, can talk about books in a fun way and will enhance the conversation.

How many people do you want in your book club—note: this is a different question than, how many people do you want to attend meetings? Life happens, so count on two people not being able to make it to each meeting.

A system for communicating

Slack? Facebook Messenger? Good ol’ fashioned email? You’re going to need a way to communicate with members on a continuous basis, so do some homework then set the precedent for communication. If your book club will have an online component or exist completely online, check out these great resources.

The amount of responsibility you want

When you start a book club, you become the de-facto chairperson. That means you’ll probably always remain the go-to for questions, but it does not mean that you should always decide what the answers are on your own. Be a leader, but make your club an easy democracy or your book lovers will go love their books somewhere else.

A list of great books

You’ll be setting the tone for your book club with the first books you recommend, so choose wisely! Books should be engaging, readily available and have the potential to foster a robust and meaningful discussion with many talking points.

Take a look at these recommendations for your first read!

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