Tips for Hosting Your First Book Club

My first book club meet up

At the start of this year, I realized that I needed to stop obsessing over hosting the “perfect” book club and just DO it. It’s only month 4 but I’m so glad I took the leap because I’ve learned so much throughout the process. You guys have sent me a few questions about starting a book club so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few things that have helped me.

What’s your motivation?

Before you decide on a name, it helps to figure out why you want to start a book club. Is it to meet new people? Perhaps it’s to explore a genre that you wouldn’t normally pick up on your own. For me, it was both! If you still have trouble picking the right name for your book club, set up a time to brainstorm with a friend. You’d be surprised at how helpful it is to bounce ideas off of another person.

Choose your first book

Once you’ve pinned down your focus and name for the book club, it’s time to pick your first book. I highly recommend starting with a book that you’ve had the chance to read all the way through. While this is definitely not necessary for the entire year, it makes the first discussion run smooth and alleviates the anxiety that sometimes comes along with having your first meet up.

Pick the perfect space

A lot of people choose to host their book club in their home, and while it works for some people, it just doesn’t work for me. I’d much rather host Dear Reader in a cozy bookstore, surrounded by tons of good books and food (that I don’t have to cook). If you decide to go this route, be sure to contact the bookstore ahead of time to reserve your spot and to ask about capacity.

Photo cred: Kelsey Cragg

Set a date and send out the invites

This is my personal preference but I wanted my book club to be intimate. I didn’t want one specific person leading the discussion. For this reason, I found that anywhere between 7-12 people is a good sized group. Everyone gets a chance to voice their opinion about the book and you really get to know the attendees on a personal level.

Now you’re all set!

Remember that there will be books that you hate, books that make you cry, and books that make you laugh so hard your sides split. Remember to enjoy every moment.

Have you ever hosted a book club before? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

 

Patience Randle

In today’s world, it’s important to form authentic relationships in order to truly engage your readers. It’s about more than just posting a photo and a hashtag, it’s about telling your story. 

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