How to Start and Hold a Reading Club

Starting line with road cones

Do you enjoy reading? Would you like to find some friends in a new place? Do you need an extra motivation for reading? Or you want to earn some money by helping others in their book assessment tasks? Then your choice is starting a book club.
A first thing that you need to do is to prepare a small outline of what you want. Answer the questions below, and in the end you will have a solid plan on how to get started.

Question 1. What is the aim of your book club?

  • a) If you are a book-lover and you want to share your passion with your kind, just choose your favorite genre or you can state a topic or a theme for each month or another time period;
  • b) If you need a motivation in studying literature, you can organize a group that will follow your curriculum;
  • c) If you are good in text analysis or essay writing, you can set a book club with an option of you sharing your knowledge in this aspect. Anyway, you need to decide who will choose books – will it be some genre or direction, or you will just pick out any book one of you need to work on.

Question 2. What kind of a book club you want?

  • a) Social bonding;
  • b) Serious academic;
  • c) Therapeutic;
  • d) Fan-club of some author or character;
  • e) Whatever your fantasy draws for you.

Please, do not forget that whatever kind of a club you desire, there will be some coffee break and you need to separate it from the discussion. For example, by setting time limits: 03:00 – 04:00 PM – discussion, 04:00-04:30 PM – coffee break.

Question 3. How would you like to name your club?

  • a) Book-worms rising;
  • b) Book lovers of Idaho;
  • c) London’s literature society.

A proper name will not only help to settle an atmosphere needed but also will aid in finding right people for your club and rally your group.

Question 4. How many people there will be in your club?

  • a) 1-3 is not enough, if you need a good interesting discussion;
  • b) 6-10 is a nice small group, but you have to be careful in choosing people. Try to find people with same goals or reading styles, otherwise it may become a fight, not a discussion;
  • c) 10-18 is a good number, especially if you keep in mind that every time someone will be absent for some reason;
  • d) More than 18 – difficult to maintain a discussion, there is a possibility that your club will split to several smaller groups.

Question 5. How often do you want to meet?

    • a) Once in a week – may be too often, but if you plan to discuss books by chapters or other parts, it may suit you.
    • b) Once in a month – may be a perfect option, so everyone has enough time to read a selected book and prepare some questions or tips for discussion.
    • c) Once in two month – possibly is not enough, such group will not have a chance to bond and probably will not last long.

Question 6. Where would like to meet?

      • a) public library;
      • b) house;
      • c) club:
      • d) coffee shop;
      • e) community center;
      • f) book-store.

There are a lot of options for your meetings, but this question is better to be decided on your first organizational meeting when you will discuss and decide how do you start a book club. The answer to this question will also be based on the answer to the next one.

Question 7. How about food?

      • a) No food, – this may be an option if you chose to have a serious academic club, where you will come and strictly discuss the book with no socializing, but still, we are all humans and this is hardly possible. So you might still decide for at least having a snack;
      • b) A light food\snack – this can be wine and cheese, coffee and cakes, beer and chips;
      • c) Full meals – here you have a choice between restaurant meals and homemade meals.

You also have to decide on who will be responsible for food, a host, everyone will bring a dish or a snack, or you will have some organizational money for it and appoint a responsible person every month.

Question 8. What will be the responsibilities of your club members and you club’s policy?

      • a) on pets, smoking, telephones during meetings;
      • b) on attendance and reading the selection or book (and on attendance in case someone didn’t have time to finish reading);
      • c) On books pricing and monthly payments;
      • d) On books choosing and voting system for new members.

Now, after you have answered all these questions, you have a clearer image on how to start a book club. You can find your members through asking friends, advertising on campus or in the internet, as well as printing some flyers and spreading them around. In addition, please note that although most of these questions will be discussed on the first organizational meeting, you need to answer to them to yourself beforehand.