How to Start a Book Club

You and your friends love to read and have thought of starting a book club. Well, that's a great idea! But, although it's a fantastic idea, it still requires a bit of planning. No worries, though. Just follow the steps outlined below and have a blast exploring new novels and genres!


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    Figure out what your book club will read, for both your first novel and in general. Will you be a general adult book club reading anything? A teen mystery book club? Deciding on a theme (or no theme, in the case of the first example) will help you keep you group motivated and supplied with reading ideas.
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    Find a core group of people with a passion for reading. They could be friends, family, or acquaintances you know through various activities, but they should all love to read. Also, make sure that this core group of members can commit to meetings on a regular basis. You don't want your entire group flaking out on you!
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    Decide where to meet. When you first begin, especially if the members are friends or you plan to serve alcohol, meeting your own home is a great idea. Later, different members could "host" different meetings. If there are members that you are not quite as familiar with, or don't want to meet at your house, ask your local library about using some of their space for a book club.
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    Set meeting time length. An hour is a good start. Eventually, two hours or an hour and a half may work better if you add more members to your group. Don't exceed two hours, because when meetings get too long people get bored. When people get bored, they quit coming to meetings. Your club could end before it even begins if it gets a reputation of being boring.
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    Poll members of your club. Ask what books they have been reading and what times and dates work best for them to meet.
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    Announce your first meeting. Set the date at least two weeks in advance, to allow for people to have time to read the book. Three weeks is even better. Send out e-mails a week before the meeting to give people a written reminder.
  7. 7
    Start thinking of a cabinet. For instance, vote for president, vice president, secretary, and get a few people for a club newsletter. This step is optional for smaller groups, but is very handy for very large groups of over ten or fifteen people.
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    Make a list of about five books and bring it to the meeting. Get ideas for books from the internet or library recommendations. Let everyone discuss and vote upon what book to read for the next meeting. After deciding, let everyone get to know each other and discuss their reading tastes.
  9. 9
    Be open to suggestions and constructive criticisms. Actively invite suggestions from members at every meeting on how to improve the functioning of the club.
  10. 10
    Ask members to enroll new members. Request every member to bring in their book loving friends to the club. Leave scope for prospective members to participate in meetings so that they can get a feel before actually joining.


  • If nobody comes to the meeting, don't worry. You'll have more people next time


  • There may be some mutiny when voting for a cabinet, you may wish to not have one for this very reason.

Things You'll Need

  • A book
  • People
  • Imagination
  • A place to read

Article Info

Categories: Book Clubs and Book Groups