I was a loyal member of a book club in Utah with a big group of friends for about four years. I met new friends and became closer to old friends, I loved that book club. When I moved to Connecticut I brought up the idea of starting a book club to four friends and they all told me they do not read or they were already in a group. So I dropped the idea. Until recently when I was working on a clients home and we realized we knew a couple of the same people. I brought up the idea of book club…again, I just couldn’t let it die for me in Connecticut. Luckily they were all in!
I recently shared on my Instagram a piece of advice I heard from one of my favorite Podcasts. They said “Do something every day that cannot be un-done!” You can read the entire post HERE and what everyone had to say. Basically it will make us Happier if we are able to do something that is different than the day before. Something that you will not have to re-do the next day. For example; the laundry, the dishes, vacuuming…you know ground hogs day. So I thought something I look forward to is hosting and reading books and discussing them- both are things that cannot be un-done. Not to mention I could always use more friends and an excuse to get together with them.
I heard someone say “the key to happiness is deep relationships.” I agree 100% with that. Whenever I have a meaningful conversation with someone I always leave happier.
So now you know why I really wanted to start a book club, this is how I started it.
1- ASK- Ask friends (or someone that you met that you would like to be better friends with) if they are interested in a book club. If you get a no, don’t quit and don’t take it personal. Just keep asking.
2- START COMMUNICATION– I got five women to give me a YES they would love to join a book club. Then I started a Facebook group and invited them all to the group and slowly added more. You could start a group email if everyone is not on Facebook. Once you invite someone have them invite the next!
3- SET A DATE– If you are starting this group take charge and suggest a date. I decided to throw out the first Thursday of every month, keeping it consistent.
4- PICK A BOOK– I suggest picking an easy book that is not too long for your first book club book. And make sure to give everyone a month to read it. You also do not have to review a book. You could review an article or a podcast!
5- BUILD EXCITEMENT– Post on your Facebook group board about the first book club and encourage everyone to come. A little food bribery and a reminder that it is a night away from the everyday hustle. In December we always have everyone bring a $15 FAVORITE gift and play the white elephant game. It is the best night!!!
6- THEME IT UP– We just read Necessary Lies for our first book. It was set in the South and mentioned biscuits several times. So I made bread pudding, greens, rhubarb pie, plantain chips with dip and my friend offered to make biscuits! Maybe this will stress you out and that is not my intention. I think you can still keep it easy and simple while making it fun and finding great food to serve that goes along the era of the book or maybe a food is mentioned that would be great to serve.
7- FIND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS– You can google “book club questions” for any book you are reading and I guarantee you will find several options of great questions. Or look at the back of the book, they typically have them there. Make sure to read through the questions and pick your favorite ones. Only print enough questions for each person in the group. I have everyone go through a pick out a question. Typically the hostess kicks it off and she reads the first question and gives her thoughts and everyone else chimes in! Then continue around the room in that fashion. It is the best way to hear from everyone in the group- so the more out-spoken ones aren’t the ones talking the entire time.
8- PLAN– We have selected books several ways before. One year we had everyone bring three choices for their book for the month they would be hosting then we all voted. I don’t think that was necessary- basically you just convinced everyone to pick the book that you really wanted to host. With my new book club group we went around and everyone picked a month they wanted to host then picked their book. I do think it is best to pick the entire book line up for the year. That way those that are avid readers can read ahead. You can even pick a love story for February, a thriller for October and so on.
These have been some of our FAVORITE BOOKS in our past Book Club-
Educated recent read and it was very good! A great one to discuss. It comes highly recommended too
The Glass Castle (this was everyone’s favorite book for the entire year, yes we voted at the end of the year on favorites and the person who picked the book got a prize:))
These Is My Words (this is one of my favorite books and my sisters too)
We just read Necessary Lies and everyone liked it. I have admit I listen to most my books on Audible. I really enjoy listening to books while I work or do things around the house.
We are reading The Rent Collector for December (It was a good book!)
Let me know your favorite books your book clubs read or your favorite book. Also I want to know if you are in a book club or are planning on starting one!