1) Think about why you want to start a book club.
Do you hunger to share good literature with fellow-minded people, or do you want an excellent excuse for a monthly get together? Both of these are great reasons to start a book club. Your answer to that question will set the necessary tone for the group.
2) Figure out if your club will have a theme.
Some book clubs focus on mystery novels, while others dive into non-fiction histories. Deciding if you want to focus on a specific genre will help you pick books and attract members. The more serious the group, the more focused the topic usually is. If you want your group to be more social than academic, feel free to be more random in your selections. Check out this list of popular book club choices if you're stumped for ideas.
3) Decide who will be invited--and who will not.
Spread the word about your club to friends, family and coworkers. Aim for a group of 5 to 15 people. You will want enough members to make sure discussion will flow if a few members are absent, but not so many that meetings could get out of hand. This is a good time to determine if spouses and children will be allowed at the meetings. If parents intend to bring small children, make it clear they need to bring toddler toys, snacks, and other things to entertain the little ones during the meeting.
4) Pick a place to meet and set a schedule.
You can elect to meet in a public place, like a library, club, café, or restaurant. Or, if the club's members prefer something more private, you can meet in a member's home. One fun idea is to give each member a turn at hosting the club. However, if you decide to keep the party moving, make sure to set a schedule ahead of time. That way, the host has plenty of time to stock up on snacks and freshen up his or her home with new bathroom accessories and decor. Many book clubs meet once a month, which gives members plenty of time to read every book. Try to find an evening during the week that will work for all your members, but be warned: all book clubs will find themselves working around jobs, childcare, and even weather.
5) Use social media and email to keep members in touch.
Before your first meeting, set up an email list that includes each member so everybody gets the latest updates. Many book clubs also start Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Consider setting up a Pinterest account for the club, and add a new board for each book.
Starting a book club is a wonderful way to connect to the people in your life in a new way. It also can help you meet new people while expanding your horizons. Use these tips, and your club will be reading in no time!
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