Hosting a book club is a major life endeavor. Probably second only to having children or buying a house. Just kidding! While hosting a book club does take a little planning, with surface-level know-how, you can bring together your bookworm buddies for some fun camaraderie and discussion.
Know Your Club’s Purpose
A book club’s purpose might seem self-explanatory, but there’s a little more to it than simply discussing a book. Is the goal to catch up with coworkers, meet new friends, learn something new, or a combination of all the above? The most successful book clubs are those where expectations are set early on.
Have a Mix of Genres
There’s nothing wrong with having a book club dedicated to only reading non-fiction military history or period piece romance, but it’s a good idea to set this precedent early on if that’s the case. Otherwise, you’ll want to mix in different genres and authors to keep things interesting!
When choosing the books, consider not only the genre, but the book-length, price, and reading difficulty. Opting for a few selections from the “best of” lists is a trusted process. You’ll also want to rotate who chooses the books so each member has input.
Your book-loving buddies will enjoy some light snacks while discussing the book, so be sure to offer some small bites. Cheese and crackers, chips, maybe some mini sandwiches – nothing too messy.
Depending on the book you’re reading, you may even want to offer snacks that play into the theme. For example, if you’re reading Under The Tuscan Sun, bruschetta or an antipasto platter would be an ideal pairing.
Finding the right mix of members can be tricky for a book club. It’s probably not a good idea to have an ongoing open-door policy as this could easily lead to the book club swelling in size and chaotic discussion. Look for people who have an open mind, and you think the other members will enjoy being around.
As for determining the group’s size, there’s no magic number, but generally, 3 to 10 people is manageable enough for thoughtful discussion.
Structure the Discussion
Structuring the discussion so that everyone gets a voice can be a challenge. One or two conversation hogs could make less extroverted members feel squeezed out of the discussion.
To help avoid this, you should lay out a discussion guide ahead of time where each member offers their opinion on a particular chapter or scenario in the book. Another idea is to have a moderator (typically the host of the affair) carve out time for more deep-dive questions or roundtable opinions on a subject or character.
Offer everyone a chance to be heard — pretty soon, your book club will have a natural flow of discussion that each member can partake in.
If you’re looking for ideas on some great books to add to your book club rotation, the Kyle public library should be a go-to destination. It’s one of the many places that make Kyle such a wonderful place to call home.
Want to learn more about Kyle and finding a home in the Crosswinds community? Contact our team today.