- Just do it!
- Invite a couple of friends to invite a couple of friends and soon you’ll have the beginnings of a group.
- 10 to 12 people is about the right number – not too big that a meeting becomes unruly if everyone turns up, and not so small that not everyone turning up every meeting means there aren’t enough people for a decent discussion.
- Good Reading magazine Advice for forming a book group
- LitLovers LitClub How to start a book club
- LitLovers How to run a book club
- About.com - How to start a book club
- Reading Group Guides - Starting a reading group and Running your reading group
- Barnes and Noble - How to run a reading group
- Book Club Queen – the book club how-to list
- Book Clubs Resource – How to start a book club
- Where will you meet? Will it be in someone’s home, or somewhere public like a cafe, library or pub?
- The advantage of meeting in someone’s home is that your group will have privacy and comfort and the ability to dictate when you meet. Some people are not comfortable having others in their home, or their home is too small. Perhaps you will need to accept that some members of the group will host a meeting while others can’t.
- The advantage of the public meeting place is neutrality. However, noise from other users of the space, and possibly added expense of buying food & drink may be a turn-off.
- How often will you meet?
- Once a month works best for most, but you may want to meet more or less frequently than that.
- Will there be some months when you don’t meet. A lot of clubs shut down for the summer.
- When will you meet? Having a regular time will ensure more people can schedule the meetings in and come regularly.
- Time of day – daytime or evening
- Day of the week/month – eg. first Friday of each month at 7:30pm
Books to help you host a book group - a Readers in the Mist blog post about some books held by the library that give recipes, etc so you can theme your food to match your discussion, or vice versa.
If you join a book group, you will have to accept that you will probably be expected to read books you may not have ever chosen to read yourself. This can lead you to some truly wonderful experiences but can also prove quite a challenge.
- Will each member take a turn at choosing a book for the others to read?
- Will you all generate a list and then agree which ones to read?
- Will your book group be organised around a genre? A romance readers group, or thrill seekers or historians?
- Will you know for months in advance what is on the reading list, or will you take it meeting by meeting?
- Reading Group Guides Choosing What to Read
- Book Club Resource Selecting the right books for a book club and Fiction or Non Fiction?
- LitLovers How to select book club books - some basic do’s and don’ts
- LitLovers Read Think Talk- some things to think about as you read
- How will you score your reading?
- One suggestion :
- 1 – I hated it/don’t bother
- 2 – I didn’t like it/not for me but worth trying
- 3 – I liked it/recommended
- 4 – I really liked it/one of the best books I’ve read this year
- 5 – I loved it/one of the best books I’ve ever read
- Can you score the book if you haven’t read it all?
- Will you record your reading and your meetings somewhere? In a notebook, or on a blog or wiki or other social media site.
Getting the Discussion going
Websites to look at :
- Goodreading magazine discussion notes
- Book Clubs Resource Book Club Discussion Questions and Topics
- Reading Group Guides
- LitLovers How to discuss a book - how to lead a discussion and how to participate in a discussion
- LitLovers Generic questions for Fiction
- LitLovers Generic questions for Non-fiction
- LitLovers Reading guides – over Our 1,500 Discussion Questions, Book Reviews, Author Bios, and Plot Summaries
- Reading Group Center (Random House/Vintage/Anchor) ~ hundreds of free reading guides, searchable by category, author or title
Websites to look at :
- Readers in the Mist – BMCC Library’s blog
- ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Group
- Oprah’s Book Club
- Fantastic Fiction
- Goodreading magazine
- Stop You’re Killing Me! – for mystery lovers
- Paranormal Romance
- What Should I Read Next?
- The Romance Reader
- Love Reading UK
- Literature Map - enter the name of a favourite author and see who else writes in a similar fashion
- LibraryThing - record your own reading, contribute reviews and read reviews by others
- Candy Covered Books - Chick Lit and Women’s fiction site
- ABC Radio National Book Show – listen and download programme podcasts
- LitLovers Book Reviews
- Citizen Reader ~ Mostly non-fiction.
- Dove Grey Reader ~ a Devonshire based bookaholic, sock-knitting quilter.
- Good Oil From the Shed ~ BMCC Library blog for blokes.
- Shelf Talk ~ Blog from Seattle Public Library.
- Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books ~ A blog that reviews romance novels from a couple of smart bitches who will always give it to you straight.
- Guardian Books ~ book news and reviews.
- The Rap Sheet ~ crime fiction blog.
- Novel Ideas ~ Manly Library’s blog.
100 Search Engines for Bibliophiles ~ Whether you want to find a great deal on the latest thriller or do some extensive research for a school project, these 100 search engines and web tools can help to point you in the right direction, saving you time that can be better spent reading.
- Book Lust
- Book Movement (for book groups)
- Books Well Read
- Dagger Awards - awarded by the UK Crime Writer’s Association
- Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
- Orange Prize for Fiction
- Perfect Books for Reading Groups
- Reading Agency (UK)
- The Compulsive Reader
- Nobel Prize in Literature
- Miles Franklin Award
Online Book Clubs