Reading a great novel is wonderful. Sharing the story with others is even more wonderful. That has led to many book clubs across the country. If you haven't tried a book club before, now may be the perfect time to join. It is an inexpensive activity with great rewards, plus you can meet some fun people with similar interests. A lot of people use WannaBuddy to find a book club buddy, so we thought it would be useful to share a few thoughts on starting your own book club.
Although it is easier to join an existing book club, many times that isn't possible, because of conflicting schedules, differing tastes, or just because you think that starting a new one would be fun. Leading a book club can be rewarding and even a nice addition to your resume.
Before you start your search for club members, think about what type of club you really want. What genre of books will you choose? Where, when and how often will you meet? Will you lead each discussion, or will that role rotate among the club members? How quickly will you move through each book? Once you have this framework somewhat figured out, it is time to find some members.
Of course, WannaBuddy is a great source for finding book club members. Don't overlook the old-fashioned flyer in the library and bookstore, though. We can't ignore the people who haven't discovered WannaBuddy yet. You should try to get a few more members than your really need for your club, because people inevitably drop out or move away. A few more members is always better than a not enough members.
Once you have your membership, plan your first meeting. Get agreement on your first book in advance, and plan at least a half hour more meeting time than normal. Don't forget the snacks and beverages; they really get the conversation started.
Spend some time up front at the first meeting getting agreement on general ground rules. Talk about the framework that you developed when planning the book club and make sure that everyone is comfortable with the decisions. You may decide to tweak some things after the group talks about it a bit. Get everyone on board now so that you don't have dissention later.
Do spend some time at the first meeting actually discussing the book! You want your new club members to get a taste of how the group will interact and what level of discussion they can expect. You might want to be prepared with some background information on the author, the period and setting for the book, or other additional context that can add a lot to everyone's appreciation for the book. Check the publisher's web site to see if there is a reading guide to help you along.
Before your first meeting breaks up, talk about how you will communicate between meetings and the time and place of your next meeting. You can use the Event feature of WannaBuddy to keep everyone organized or start your own blog page for the group. Anything that works for everyone, so that nobody feels left out and everyone can chime in.
Starting a book club can be a lot of work, but the rewards are definitely there for the taking! Find a good book, some like-minded friends and get going!