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Getting Started: How to Start a Book Club

“When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night — there‘s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.” —Christopher Morley
Five Steps to Starting a Book Club
  1. Step One: Decide what kind of Book Club you want to start.
    • Is the purpose of your Book Club to read or to socialize?
    • Do you want to read a specific genre, bestsellers, high literature, etc.?
    • Browse Reading Guides by Genre:
  2. Step Two: Based on the type of Book Club you have decided upon, choose a setting.
    • Do you want to meet in someone’s home, in a public space, in an online forum, through a blog or website, etc.? How often do you want to meet? Once a month is the standard, but if you plan on reading longer books you may want to meet every 6 weeks.
    • How to Host a Book Club Online.
      • Coordinating a time and a place to meet is one of the largest challenges for many book clubs. Hosting your Book Club online makes meeting easy and convenient for members wherever they may be.
      • Resources:
        • Book Club Community Sites:
          • Bookstr is a great space to both host and find an existing Book Club.
        • Online Forums easy-to-use discussion boards that can be accessed at anytime
        • Video Chat Meetings have your meetings face-to-face through the screen
  3. Step Three: Invite Your Members.
    • The ideal size of a Book Club is between 8 and 16 members
    • A great way to gather a large diverse group is to invite 3-5 people and ask each of them to invite 3 or 4 friends.
  4. Step Four: Set up a Pre-Book Book Club Meeting.
    • Gather everyone together to discuss the first book option, the permanent meeting location and time, how the Book Club will be run, and the goals for the Book Club.
    • Bring one or two options for meeting times and the first book. Take a vote if you would like to have everyone involved in the decision making process.
  5. Step Five: Select your first book and send out a Meeting Schedule for the remainder of the year.
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