In a book club, you can discover new books that you might have otherwise completely overlooked – you might find a new favourite this way. Or, you can encourage the other members of your club to read and discuss your own favourite book that you’ve been dying to talk about with somebody!
The perfect book club is made up of three key things: a great reading selection, yummy snacks, and a lively discussion. The first two things are easy to accomplish — but getting a good dialogue going may be harder than you think, which is why you need a list of questions that will work for any discussion.
Download the Lies of the Magpie discussion questions for your next discussion.
Register Your Club To Win An Author Speak
How to Start a Book Club
Starting a book club? Just follow our 10 basic steps to good books, good talks, and good eats.
What kind of book club?
First, decide on a club orientation: somewhere between highly social…and seriously academic. If you make this decision at the outset, you’ll know who to invite and what books to read.
What kind of books?
Think about the books you enjoy—in terms of genre and level of difficulty. First, consider a mix of genres.
Fiction—general, current or classic, historical, mystery, sci-fi, western, romance.
Nonfiction—memoir, biography, history, current events, science, travel, cooking.
Others—poetry and drama.
Next, vary your reading by moving between more challenging works…and those on the lighter side. (See How to Select Your Books.)
What about members?
Number—8 to 16 members are best: enough for a discussion if several are absent, but not too many to make discussions unwieldy.
Word to the wise—look for people with similar reading styles. If you think Dostoevsky is light beach read, don’t ask someone who thinks Project Rosie is a long, tough slog. Even if that person is a close friend, believe us: It—won’t—work.
Invite—start with 3 friends—all devoted readers; ask each of them to invite 1, 2, or 3 others, also devoted readers. It’s not important for everyone to know one another; in fact, it’s fun if you don’t. After you meet a couple of times, you can grow the club at your own pace. (Or not.)
Online—maybe you’re new to the area and don’t know people. Several of our Featured Book Clubs have started highly successful groups through Meetup.com. (Type “meetup.com” into the LitLovers search bar to get a list of the clubs.)