Book Club love! Are you in one? Post your recs/advice on starting one here!
If you’ve recently moved to a new area, beginning a book club or joining one is, I think, the best way to get to know like-minded people. And the best thing about discussing a book is that even if you hated what you read, couldn’t even get through it, or just one stranger showed up to talk with you — there’s always something to say about a book.
I’ve been part of two different clubs. The first I started with just two roommates and it ended up growing to sometimes 20 or more people. The one I am in currently is just a small group of women from my community.
Have you ever been in a book club? Was yours co-ed or targeted to just women or men? What advice do you have on starting one?
I’m also curious to know if you have any tips on getting people talking. I’ve always found that conversations seem to flow from the simple question: Who enjoyed the book? ..but I’d love to hear from anyone who sticks to a strict list of questions.
I joined a book club last April and I love it. We meet once every two or three weeks — depending on the length of the book — at a bar and discuss it while having a beer. It’s open to anyone who wants to join, and I think that’s one of the most interesting things about it — we all have different ages (I think the youngest is 23 and the oldest is in her 60s), different professions (most of my friends are journalists, so it’s a welcome change), different backgrounds, etc.
As for getting people talking… that never seems to be a problem! Sometimes we start by making a round where each of us says what we thought about the book, but conversation is always easy. From time to time we have the opposite problem –getting certain people (never regular guests, by the way) to shut up and let the rest of us say something.
So cool, Ana. I’ve never been to a book club that met at a restaurant or bar. We always meet at people’s homes instead, and I’m wondering if more ‘strangers’ would come if our meetings were in a more public, less intimate, place.
I LOVE my book club, which also meets in a bar. It’s a great cross section of folks (mostly women, but people of all ages, backgrounds, etc). We genre hop a bunch and I’m not always into the selection but I usually go. I found it through the library newsletter in my tiny city. At this point, it is mostly a group of regulars who come to most meetings and we’ve started to get to know one another and chitchat after the book talk. I’m not sure how it’s advertised.
There’s usually a survey for selecting books, and any member can nominate books to be included in a later survey.
i am in a book club,but what we do is something different. in every meeting we have a speaker who reads/explains about the book they are currently reading or have read recently.its not compulsory for everyone to read that book .then in between we discuss our viewpoints also about the book.in this way we discuss a particular book and if anyone is interested they can also read it. we meet once a month at home or in restaurants whichever suits all over a cup of coffee and cookies.
I created a book club with a friend a couple of years ago in Cardiff, UK. We started it because we didn’t like any of the book clubs around. We wanted to meet people and talk about books but we didn’t want to be forced to read whatever booked the organiser would pick. So the rules of our book club were:
-All the members write 5 topics in 5 pieces of paper (topics as diverse as you want such as: “books with a colour on their title”, “books written by an African author”, “books about the sea”)
-Then all the papers go into a hat and one member at random picks one of them from the hat.
-Then each member had the freedom to choose their own book, as long as it was related to the randomly selected topic.
It was a lot of fun, but we never got more than 6 people involved. Then my friend moved to Australia and the book club slowly dissolved since there was not enough engagement. A pity.
I intend to start a similar one when I move to Germany in a (hopefully) near future.
There is a lovely book by Karen Joy Fowler, in 2004, called The Jane Austen Book Club. Ever since reading it, I dream of starting my own book club that would focus on one author’s work each year. But I am a chicken.
An adaptation was made in 2007. It’s a popcorn and wine while wearing pjs under a blanket sort of light-delight.
movie preview here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zatP2-_NH2A
I woud love to be part of a book club!
L. Hultgren, What are you afraid of? I just spoke with a book club in Ridgecrest, Ca. about my last novel. It was one of the most relaxed and warm experiences I’ve had in a long time. All fear is, is a sign that we are getting ready to move forward.
What about a digital book club? I’ve been playing with the idea of starting a book club and then getting together on Facebook or Goodreads, even Twitter, to discuss the story. The challenge, I suppose, is to create that intimate space of a library or bookstore.
Anna, I often speak with book clubs when they are reading one of my books. Part of the intimacy is being able to watch members’ reactions in real time. I think your sense that it would be harder to create that kind of intimacy on-line. I bet there are people in your area who would love to take part in a real-time book club. You can also search for on-line book clubs on-line. I found a couple sites.