How to Start a Book Club or Reading Group
1 How to Start and Lead a Book Discussion
If you've already all decided on your first book, give your members a couple of weeks notice before the first meeting for your book club or reading group. This way, they can read a chapter or two of the book before the meeting takes place. Also ask them to bring at least one discussion question with them to the meeting.
If you haven't all already decided on the first book, that's okay. Take the time at your meeting to vote on which book to start with and keep a list of the others. Starting a book club or reading group isn't easy but, as long as you make it a team effort, you are guaranteed success, no matter how long it takes just to get that first decision on what book you all would like to read together.
Be prepared for more than just a book discussion for your meeting for your book club or reading group because you and your members will still have to smooth out a few things to really get this book group started. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Who will lead the meetings? Will it be the same person every time or the person who suggested the book?
- Will there be a price limit for your reading list?
- Who will keep track of the books read, when they were discussed, etc.?
- Where will meetings be held? Will the all be in the same place or different each time?
- Will refreshments be provided? Who will be in charge of them?
It may be tempting to start off the first meeting with your book discussion but hold off until these important questions (as well as whatever other ones you may come up with on your own) are answered. Then, go into your discussion with the leader (who may be you) sharing their question first and then going on to each member's questions in turn.
Remember that not all questions may be that interesting or bring about much discussion in the book club or reading group so it's alright to breeze over a few. On the other hand, questions may bring out a lot of discussion and can take up the entire meeting. If that happens, don't it off for the sake of making sure you all answer every question. You won't always get to every question everyone has and that's alright as long as everyone is participating and having fun.