Hosting a (Successful) Book Club

My (E) roommate and I started a book club about a year or so ago. It was not successful. Although we had a lot of fun, it fizzled out within a month or two. Back in January, we decided that we wanted to restart it. We tried to figure out what went wrong the first time and decided to put in more effort this time around.

WELL…we officially hit our sixth month of book clubbing. It’s been so fun and we love hosting every month. Not only have we maintained the group we started with, it’s even gotten bigger! Here are a few tips about hosting a book club that we’ve picked up along the way include:

  1. Enjoy yourself: What’s the point of going through the time and effort of hosting (or attending) a BC if you’re not having fun? We want book club to be a space where people can freely express their feelings about a book. It’s not supposed to be serious (or at least ours isn’t).
  2. Set up “guidelines”: We don’t have many (basically zero guidelines) but have a few things we try to follow every time we meet. At least a few of us bring snacks, at least a few of us bring suggestions, and everyone brings the latest life updates (that we all talk about for an hour before the book is even mentioned). And we love it.
  3. Bring a friend: The majority of our book club are friends and friends of friends. It’s honestly more fun that way. We’ve met so many amazing women through it and wouldn’t have if we restricted it to only people we knew.
  4. Have food and drinks: This is a no brainer. Although, my grandmother’s book club drinks water which she says is because no one wants to feel obligated to “play host”. Every time her and I talk about our book clubs, I express my opinions about the fact that she doesn’t get to have snacks. But, what can I say? Us millennials love two-buck chuck and cheese plates.
  5. Forgive people for not reading: It can be easy to get disappointed when someone says they didn’t read the book. I struggle with this one,  but even I missed our last book because…life gets in the way sometimes. As long as people show up and try, that’s really all you can ask for.
  6. Embrace the negative opinions: Not everyone is going to love every book. Also, not everyone is going to hate every book. You’ll be amazed to hear what people think of the books they’ve read. It’s fun (and challenging) to hear feedback on things that you really enjoyed, or that you didn’t love but others enjoyed.
  7. Be open: The point of a book club is to read things that you might not normally go for. It’s meant to be a learning opportunity where you try new things. Not every book that gets chosen is one you’ve been dying to read, and that’s okay. Try reading it anyway. Worst case, you’ll have read another book.
  8. Have fun: We’re having such a good time (or at least I am) at BC. We’re even in the process of planning outside activities with the group.

We’re rounding up all six of our recent reads. They’ll be on the blog in the next few weeks!