Book Groups are a rewarding and interesting way to make contact with other book lovers and make connections with your local community. There are many book groups in the Blue Mountains and we offer a fabulous Book Club Kit service to customers in order to assist with finding multiple copies of books.
If you are not already a member of a book group we have listed below some tips on how to get one started, how to run sessions and how to keep it all going.
Starting your own book group is quite easy. Below are some things to think about:
Forming a group
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.
- LitLovers LitClub How to start a book club
- LitLovers How to run a book club
- Book Club Queen – the book club how-to list
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.
What will we read?
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?
- 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 we record things?
- 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 :
- 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