Book clubs are a great way to get to talk about the books you’re reading with friends, they can also help you read across new genres. Here are a few tips from the Penguin New Zealand team about how to get started.
Reach out to some of your friends
Get in touch with friends or family who you think might be interested in joining a book club and ask them to reach out to a couple of their friends.
Set up a way you all can keep in touch
This could be a group chat on social media, via email, or you could create a private group on a platform like Facebook. A message group is essential for making sure everyone stays informed about which book you’re reading and details for the next meeting.
Choose your first book
If you don’t already have a book in mind, use your message group to see if any other members have a suggestion. Or you could arrange a pre-meeting where you all get to know each other, discuss the genres/authors you’re interested in and decide on your first book together.
Decide on a location
You could meet in public, like at a cafe, library, public garden/reserve. Or you could choose somewhere private, like someone's home. You could also decide to meet up online, especially if you live quite a distance from each other.
Bring dicussion points
If you’ve already chosen your first book, ask members to bring along a couple of discussion points or interesting facts about the book. This will help to keep the conversation moving along.
We have book club discussion notes available for a range of books here that could help you get started!
You could nominate a different group leader for each meeting who’s role it is to jump in if things get too quiet.
Have your first meeting!
Enjoy all your hard work and preparation and chat about your book! After you’ve finished discussing the book you’ve chosen, ask members to suggest a new one and all vote on what you’d like to read most.
Ask how often people think it’s reasonable to meet so they can enjoy the book- and your book club! Organise a time for the next meeting that works for everyone. If possible, arrange the next few meetings so the members of your book club know to keep the date open to meet.
We hope this was helpful in giving you some ideas about how to start up your own book clubs! There are also lots of online book clubs out there where you can join an existing group if that's more what you're interested in.
Keep an eye out for our book club prize pack giveaways over on our Facebook page, they’re not to be missed!
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