How to Start a Book Club



For over five years, I have been a member of an amazing book club. The women in my group all have different careers and back grounds. We are spread out all over the Valley. But we share a love of reading and have enjoyed meeting regularly to catch up on our lives and talk about books.

Since I love my book club so much, I thought I would share with all of you how to create a book club and some of our rules and guidelines we have created.

Our guidelines on our meetings and members. These are rules that we have come up with because it works well for all of us, but, of course, tailor this to meet your needs.

1) We have about 10 members. We have added members over the years, but only by vote. This seems to be about the right amount without being too big.

2) We go in a set order on who picks the next book.

3) Whoever picks the book also picks the restaurant or meeting place. We have eaten at some great restaurants all over the Valley. But we have also had pot lucks and delicious cooked meals hosted in our homes. One of my favorite things about the book club is trying new restaurants that I wouldn’t ordinarily visit.

4) We meet once a month. It works best to schedule the meeting during the previous month’s meeting. Even if it has to be changed later on, this way everyone has a goal on their calendar of when to finish the book.

5) You don’t have to finish the book before the meeting. Some people just do not have time to finish the book. They can still come to the meeting, but they can’t balk if everyone else gives away the ending!

Our guidelines on how to pick the book. These rules were created to keep everyone in the group happy about the book selections. You wouldn’t want to be in a group that read all historical biographies if you really like science fiction and vice-versa. You have to find what genres work best for your group.

1) No cheesy romance novels. You know the ones — if Fabio or some other scantily clad man and/or woman are on the cover! We can read these ones on our own but not for book club.

2) No hardbacks. These are too expensive, so paperbacks or digital only.

3) Unread books only. Try not to pick a book that has been previously read by other members in the group.

We have broken a few of these rules from time to time. But these are our general guidelines. Other than that, you can pick whatever you want. Over the years we have read fiction, nonfiction, short story, historical classics, and science fiction. Also Changing Hands Book Store in Tempe has a book club program. If you are buying multiple copies of the same book, they will give you a discount.

If you have any questions about creating a book club of your own, please email me!

Also it is almost my turn to pick the book club selection. Do any of you have a good book for me to choose? Please help me out and comment below.


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