Book clubs, a fun meeting between friends discussing the most wonderful thing in the world… Books! These clubs are not exactly as people always imagine them as. They are not only about discussing books, but as much to do with books as to do with planning, scheduling, finding a book in the first place to read, etc. Most book clubs end because of lack of enthusiasm or because people just do not have the time. Book clubs are very important to those avid readers everyone knows and loves, and learning about them may just help you create your own.
How to Choose Books
What me and my friends do is we each bring book ideas, about three, and we start a discussion for about an hour on why each book we brought should be read and why we want to read this book in general. Once we are done discussing we try and compromise, each of us votes one book from someone else out, and one of our own chosen books out. This leaves us with about 10-12 books left to choose from. Once we are here we each vote on which book we expect to be the most interesting of the bunch. Of these books chosen, the club picks randomly and the others are put off until future meetings.
Now, I choose my three books off of what I am interesting in. I love fantasy and science-fiction so those are the genres I pick from most often. Sometimes there is the random book out of genre I will choose, but not too often. I choose one book I have read already that I gave a five out of five-star rating and would recommend to a friend and two random books off of my reading list. My reading list is long and extensive so I will always have books to choose from.
Never move away from a book because you have already read it or because it is a part of a series. My book club is expecting to be reading a series next meeting. Possibly even the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Every book has its own things in it to discuss, one just needs to search.
Questions to Ask
Here are a few questions you could ask at a Book Club meeting:
– What character can you most relate to most?
– What did you learn from reading this book (story)?
– What would you rate this book out of 10?
– Did you like this book? Dislike it? Why?
– Would you read this book (story) again?
– Would you recommend this book to a friend?
– Using one word, how would you describe this book?
All these questions show a distinct importance relating to your group members and the book. Each of these questions can pose great conversations between each of your members and yourself of the book. This is a crucial part of book clubs that not all can say they do. These can make or break a whole meeting.
People to invite
You should always reach out and get new people to join, but how much is too much? You don’t want too many people so no one gets a say in things, and you don’t want a too little amount of people to have to cancel every meeting because one person cannot show up. You need that amount that’s just right, you need your baby bear porridge.
I cannot tell you what you would prefer, but I can tell you my own personal opinion from experience. When you have to many people, you just never end up talking to multiple people, and when there are too little everyone seems to have plans. A perfect amount I would say is eight or nine people so you have enough books to read and enough voices so no one is left out.
Before you start inviting people willy nilly you need to know who would actually enjoy it. Find that friend who cannot get out of a book, those friends who never have anything to read. Anyone willing to come, don’t have people who say they would love to join your club and never show up or participate. Your club should be exclusive to those who will do their weekly readings and who show up.
These are all just tips for you; you don’t need to do any of these things to have a book club though. Do what you think fits your group and stay by it, don’t fix something that is not broken. I want to wish good luck to you and your group members and have a long discussion on this particular topic before starting your next book.