Why not start a book club?

Why not start a book club?

How to start a book group and make sure it’s a success

A book club is a great excuse to make a regular date to socialise, and gets you reading books you might not have thought of picking up. You might discover you’re a huge fan of Nordic-noir, for example, or bonkers about biographies. It’s also a wonderful starting point for interesting conversations – whether you end up talking in detail about the book or the issues raised by its characters or storyline.

But how do you go about starting a book club, and what are the secrets of making sure it’s a thriller?

Getting started

The ideal number is for a book club is between about six and ten – too few and it can be hard to get a discussion started. Also, if a couple of members don’t show, you can still go ahead. Too many and it’s just too difficult to co-ordinate schedules and shyer people may not get heard.

Think about where you’re going to meet. This might be a quiet local café or bar or people’s homes. If you choose the latter, take it in turns to host and agree that if you’re providing food, you’ll keep things very simple like just cheese and wine. This stops the hosting becoming a chore. (We’ve all spent enough hours in the kitchen!)

Finally, decide how often you want to get together. Most book groups meet every 4-6 weeks, but this entirely depends on how much reading time you’ve got.

The first time

The first time your group meets, it’s a good idea to decide on what the ‘rules’ are going to be. For example: - How are you going to choose the books? Some book clubs let people take turns in picking, others vote on a list at the beginning of the year. - Are you going to limit your choices to fiction? Are you going to stick to paperbacks because they’re cheaper? - Do you want a completely informal chat or would you prefer a more structured discussion, perhaps with the host printing out questions for debate before the meeting (you can find book club questions at the back of a lot of books and on publishers’ websites)?

Choosing books

There are all kinds of sources of inspiration when it comes to deciding on what you’re going to read. You can check out the reviews in newspapers and magazines, the bestsellers lists or see what’s gathering plaudits from book clubs like Oprah and Richard and Judy. Or you might want to re-read an old classic.

Don't let anything spoil the fun

Most people find that after a bit of initial effort setting them up, book clubs more or less run themselves and are very enjoyable. You don’t want anything spoiling that fun though, least of all a sensitive bladder. Always Discreet will make worrying about leaks a thing of the past.

What are your book club tips?

Are you in a book club? What’s your advice to someone who wants to start one?

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