My mother has been in the same bookclub for the last 25 years. They met once a month and have continued this tradition for all these years. I remembered when it was book club night at our house. I would help my mom get the house ready, set up all the snacks, and help her make dinner for her friends. I would sit and listen to some of their conversation about the books they read and eventually got sent up stairs once the wine was flowing and conversation wasn’t “kid friendly”. Every night before bed I would read a book or listen to one on tape. I’ve done this ever since I could remember. Even last night I got in bed at 12:30am after a long night of finished editing and HAD to read at least for 10 minutes. It’s almost like my brain needs that space between technology, talking all day long, and activities to sleep time.
When I moved to Flagstaff I so badly wanted to start a bookclub but with me traveling so much I knew it was going to be hard to invest the time. Finally, after 3 years of being in Flagstaff I saw my schedule slowing down. Although, I had every excuse in the book for 6 months to not start the club. I don’t have enough time to read a book a month, that will get expensive (not like I don’t already buy a book a month?), and no one will actually read the book will they? My good friend Taylor kept asking me every month- “when are you starting this thing?” Sooooo eventually in January, flying home from Ohio after the Holidays ,I sent out a big text to friends and facebook messages to see who was interested. Well friends, we got a strong bookclub which meets once a month and EVERYONE actually reads the book!!! Here are some tips on how to start
Invite 6-8 friends/random people/strangers and have them invite 1 person who LOVES to read. I told my girls at the beginning this is not a small group where we’re going to talk about our feelings…we’re going to talk about the topics of the book!! (Although, we all end up catching up for an hour before discussing the book….I love it.) Don’t JUST invite your closest friends. You are looking for women who will have very different ideas, mindsets, opinions than you. That’s how you have great conversation and grow as an individual.
You don’t want it to become too big or not everyone will be able to talk. I think over 13-15 would get a little crazy. Not everyone can come every meeting too, so invite more than you think. People will drop out or want to bring more friends. Our is about 10 each time and it’s the perfect size!!
2. THE COMMUNICATION:
Start a facebook message or email chain with everyone in it so you can attach the book title, time, address for hostess house, etc.
3. THE HOSTING:
Meet at each others houses ONCE a month at the end. We try to find a date that works for everyone. My moms bookclub meets the last Tuesday of every month, so it’s always a set date.
The person who is hosting chooses the book. New book, new house.
It’s really fun to see everyones houses and have a meal!
Have a sign up sheet for each month in the year so people can know when to plan and come prepared with the next book for the month at each meeting.
You don’t want to much time in-between the last meeting and when you give the title of the next. Some people read slower than others, so try to reveal the next book at the end of the meeting.
4. THE FOOD:
The host prepares a meal or appetizers! It makes it easier and everyone gets a turn at their house. Wine is always a must.
Good options are:
-Big Salad with toppings
-Thai Curry + Veggies
5. THE BOOKS:
You can choose ANY BOOK in the universe. We do a lot of novels, self help, nonfiction historical, etc. Anything under the sun. What is fun is that I would have never picked those books myself but was so happy to read them.
I would suggest going to your local library and renting books! SO MUCH CHEAPER. but I love marking in my books and giving them to someone else after I read them- so I tend to buy them a log through Amazon.
BUT new discovery- our local Bookstore has a 15% discount on all their books if you register as a bookclub…so I’m starting buy all my books there.
6. THE DISCUSSION:
The host usually comes prepared with 1-4 discussion questions to start conversation. If it’s a really good book we don’t need guided questions, the conversation ebbs and flows naturally.
Some questions we like to always start with are:
1.Would you recommend this book and why or why not?
2.What character did you connect the best with?
3.What was your favorite part of the book?
A few good book recommendations :
Just a few ideas 🙂
Look how cute my bookclub is!
Welcome to your very own LIT class again…but with wine involved. It’s the best of both worlds for the nerdy adults. 🙂
xoxo- Hannah Rose