How to Host a Book Club
Are you a lover of books? Me too! I have a note saved in my phone with a list of books that others have told me about that I want to read. It’s a long list and I probably won’t get to all of them. What’s even better than reading a really good book? Chatting it up with someone else who has read it too! Even better than that? A book club of like-minded people. I prefer a group of all women, but I say go for it if you can make a mixed one work.
If you’ve never been involved in a book club, you’re missing out.
It’s a great opportunity to grow friendships. It’s also a great atmosphere for people of different age groups, social backgrounds etc. to learn something new from someone who has walked a road you haven’t yet or a different perspective from someone who has faced something you can’t imagine facing.
We’ve gone through a handful of books at this point in our book club and I have learned so much from these women. I’ve also had the opportunity to grow friendships and get to know others that I otherwise may not have had the chance to.
How to host a book club
Establish a Leader for your book club
Who is going to organize the book club? There needs to be a point person no matter how your book club works. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s in charge of making all the decisions. It’s just someone who can keep things flowing smoothly.
Survey your book club members
Find out what they’d like to do. How often they’d like to meet for book club. Ask where their preference on location for meetings are. Find out what type of books they’d like to read and discuss.
Decide how often your Book club will meet
Our group tried meeting every week. We tried every other week. We’ve landed on once a month and it’s working beautifully for our book club. We’ve decided to read one book per month and then coming together to discuss it. We also decided that the time would remain the same for every meeting. We chose a timeline like this - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the discussion time kept at an hour from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This leaves time at the beginning for arrivals and building friendships and at the end for snacks and more chatting.
Decide where your book club will meet
There are many options here. You could try your favorite coffee shop. You could meet at your church. You could meet at the leader’s home. For our book club we’ve chosen to meet at different book club member’s homes. We’ve decided to ask for volunteers to host and also choose the book for the month they host. They also agree to lead the discussion for that month.
Set some guidelines for your book club
I simply put together a list of suggested guidelines for each of our hosts. Emphasizing suggested. The reason I did this is because a few of the women who agreed to host conveyed to me that they weren’t sure “how” to host a book club meeting. Click here for a sample of suggestions. We also chose to not “close” our book club. I read a lot of information on opinions that a book club should have a certain number of members and not to let anyone else in. Also, not to let someone participate if they haven’t read the book or didn’t finish. We opted not to put these “rules” into place.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
Suggested Guidelines for a Book Club Meeting.
· 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
· Light snacks
· 6:30 – 7:30 discussion time – open with prayer or ask someone else to.
· Consider a game or ice breaker based on book’s topic to open.
· Either prepare questions ahead for each lady to draw and answer or allow them to write their own out on index cards when they arrive to choose from later. Often the book may already have questions at the end of each chapter.
· You can never go wrong using the Bible to guide the discussion.
· Focus on key passages OR discuss individual characters of the book.
· It may help to provide a summary in case of needing a refresher or some didn’t finish the book.
download the printable book club guidelines *here.
*(no email required)
6.Choose your books for book club
We decided to choose our entire book list for the year. We opted to leave out the summer months as well as November and December. We chose books for each of the remaining months…consisting of seven books a year. I created book marks for our book club with each meeting date, hostess name and book title for quick reference.
This free Canva template can be personalized and edited in Canva for your book club. Since our book club is designed to be rotated to a different hostess home each month we decided that each hostess would pick the book for her month, the only requirement is that it has to be a Christian book. It can be either fiction or non-fiction.
7. Stay in touch with book club members
Send out text or email reminders for upcoming meetings. It’s important to stay in contact and keep women excited about getting together to discuss the details of your book.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
I’d love to hear about your book club and anything you may do differently. Let me know in the comments below.
Looking for books for your book club?
These are Some Suggestions of books we’ve used in our book club
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