There are lots of book clubs out there now, and there's more than one way to run a successful one. From selecting a title befitting your group, to developing meaningful discussion prompts, the library can support you every step of the way.
The American Library Association’s Quick Start Guide is a great resource for those new to running a book club. Below are some of their suggested questions to consider as you’re getting started. Be sure to also check out their Hosting and Facilitating page for tips on setting ground rules and sample questions for kick starting the discussion.
What type of group should it be? Decide on an orientation: we suggest targeting somewhere between highly social and seriously academic.
What kind of books should we read? Choose a literary genre or a mix of genres: fiction (current, classic), poetry, drama, mystery, sci-fi, current events, history, or biography.
How many members should we invite? 8 to 16 members are best: enough for a discussion if several are absent, but not so many that discussions become unwieldy.
How often should we meet? Monthly works best for most clubs. Some meet every 6 weeks. Once you choose a schedule, try to stick with it.
When should we meet? Whether weekday evenings or weekends, this will largely depend on the job/childcare schedules of your members.
Where should we meet? Some good meeting places are: homes, clubhouses, public libraries, churches, local Y’s, and restaurants.
How do we keep in touch? Send out monthly meeting reminders. If not everyone in your group uses email, mail postcards instead. When you start the group, distribute a list of phone numbers and addresses.
Looking for more insight? Check out some of these excellent suggestions about getting your book club off the ground:
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.