Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Start a Mystery (Or any other genre) Book Club

I’m a voracious reader. There are always at least a half dozen books on my night stand or in my office waiting to be read. How about you? Are you constantly on the lookout for the next book you want to read? Or do you find yourself sharing thoughts at church socials or over the water cooler at work about the latest book you read?

If so, you’re probably a great candidate for a book club. But what if there isn’t a club nearby? Guess what? You can start one yourself.


It’s not hard. Here’s what I suggest:

Determine the logistics of the meetings: how often will you want to meet, time, location, etc.
Determine the style of the club. Will it be scholarly/academic or social/bonding? Folks will want to know this up front.
Brainstorm a list of friends and family who might be a good fit for the club. BUT don’t confine yourself to only people you know. Post a sign at your local library or bookstore, or advertise in the newspaper. Strangers quickly become friends over a shared interest in books.
At your first meeting, decide on the title selection policy, and it can be as easy as a majority rules vote. Lay other ground rules as well. Trust me. It’s best to handle them before the club begins.
Select a facilitator for each book. Just because you started the club, doesn’t mean you have to lead
every discussion.
Work with your local reference librarian on how to find author information and reviews about the book. This will help move the discussion along.
Consider keeping a group journal. It can be as simple as a list of books selections or as involved as themes and plot points discussed.
All groups have a life cycle. Your book club may function for years. Even better, a sub group may form. Or you may discover that after a half dozen books, you’re ready to call it quits. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. When it stops being fun, it’s time to move along.

Got a success story about your book club? I’d love to hear it.

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