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How to Form a Book Club

There are any number of reasons for why you might want to form a book club.

Maybe you want the discipline that comes from deadlines to help you finish books and get you back into reading.

Maybe you don’t know what to read next and you want others to help you pick some real winners.

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Maybe you, like a lot of people, find life increasingly isolating and want a regularly scheduled time to connect with other like-minded individuals. 

I am here to tell you there are really no bad reasons for wanting to form a book club. Only good ones! 

So whatever your personal reason, here are the simple steps you can follow to start and form a book club that will get you reading, discussing, and enjoying many more books. And that is a worthy goal for sure. 

Decide What Kind of Book Club You Want to Form

There are a lot of different kinds of book clubs out there. Do you want one that only reads a certain genre of books, like romance novels?

Do you want one where you only pick award winners or New York Times Best-Sellers? Maybe you are only interested in debut novels, or books being adapted for film or television.

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The possibilities are endless. Pick a way to choose your books, even if your choice is to include any book ever written. This will help you down the line when you are trying to figure out what to read next.

Choose Your Commitment Level

Think about how often you would ideally like your book club to meet. Do you want to meet once a month? Twice a month? Every week?

How often you can meet will depend on a lot of factors, from the books you are choosing to talk about, to the schedules of the people you would like to invite, to the location of your regular meetings. 

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You want to give everyone enough time to finish the books, but not so long that they finished it after 3 days and barely remember what they read by the time you meet. So, a romance novel book club can meet more often than one that tackles heavy tomes like War and Peace.

I like the bi-weekly book club model, but it’s very much a personal choice depending on the factors I mentioned.

Invite At Least 3 Others to Your Book Club

You can have a book club with only two people in, and that might need to be where you start.

Ideally, though, you want at least four people in your reading group so you can get a diversity of opinions. Discussion is a lot more fun when you aren’t just hearing your same ideas parroted back to you.

When inviting others to your book club, it’s important you share your intended goals with your fellow book readers. Book clubs have (at least in movies) become a little bit of a code word for people to get together and have a regular happy hour with friends under the guise of discussing a book.

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And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this!

If your goal is to really read and discuss books, but your fellow members just want a chance to meet up and talk generally, you’d be better off scheduling a happy hour with them and finding other book club members whose goals more closely align with yours.

Decide Where Your Book Club Will Meet

This might seem like an unimportant decision, and on the surface, it is a small one. The more details you can decide upfront though, the more likely it is you will follow through on forming your book club.

Are you planning on meeting up on Zoom or another video chat application? Are you meeting in a coffee shop? Or in someone’s house? Will you take turns hosting?

Maybe you always want your book club to come to you!

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This is something you can get input on from the other members of the book club, but I recommend you at least start with a suggestion for what is your personal ideal.

For example, if you are trying to form a book club that meets every other week at a different member’s house for two hours, that might be too much for the person who was envisioning meeting once a month online. Which brings me to my next point…

Don’t Limit Yourself to Forming Only One!

If you are struggling to decide on answers to some of these points because you have members who want different things, there is an easy solution. Form another book club!

There are so many books out there (and even more readers). If you have the time and energy, form as many book clubs as you want.

You can have your serious, bi-weekly discussions with members who have the time for that, and your once-a-month light-hearted chats with others.

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You can even have a book club that only meets twice a year with the sole purpose of giving each other “Next Read” recommendation lists.

Your book club option types are limitless, so why limit yourself to only one of them?

Now Go Off and Form Your Book Club

As someone who adores books and talking about them, I hope you find this list both helpful and inspiring for how to form a book club of your own.

Whatever specifics you settle on, book clubs are an ideal way to connect with others and recharge your love of reading in a big way.

Happy reading!

Did you form a book club? How is it going??

I love hearing the types of book clubs people come up with, so drop a comment below and tell me all about it!