When I tell people I’m in a book club, I’m almost always met with skeptical faces. It’s like I’m being challenged to prove that book clubs aren’t just for dorks.
I assure you, they aren’t, and while I’ve always thought thatreading is cool, here are a few tips to ensure your book clubs is a most awesome good time.
1. Rotate who hosts and who picks the books. One of my favorite things about my book club is that each month someone different hosts and the host gets to select the book we read. This ensures that no one has to travel to an inconvenient location all the time and that different tastes determine our monthly read.
2. Bring thematic food (and drink!). Any time you add snacks and a glass of wine, conversation is sure to pick up a notch, but a thematic meal takes the fun even further. Try selecting a theme which matches the book somehow, whether it be culturally, seasonally or related to a character, and fill your plates potluck style - with each member committing in advance to bring something different. Doing this, I’ve enjoyed everything from Middle Eastern cuisine to “circus treats”.
3. Try to mix genres. Maybe your book club wants to read exclusively science fiction. If so, awesome, but for many clubs, variety is going to be key. Not only does my club rotate “book-selector”, but we’ve read everything from the classics to diatribes by comedians. We intentionally mix it up to suit moods, workloads and the time of year (a 500-page historical novel might not be the best pick for July!)
4. Talk about the book, but not too much. Most people don’t want to feel like they’re doing homework when preparing for book club. Though you want to discuss the book you’ve read (thanks to Google, finding book club discussion questions has never been easier) make sure you aren’t so fixated on the book that people don’t have a chance to catch up and enjoy one another’s company.
5. Pick the right people. Putting together a cool book club requires cool people, whatever your definition of “cool” may be. Throwing together people with nothing in common may make it tough to enjoy your monthly meetings or it may make discussion vibrant and interesting. Whoever you choose, make sure they fit the vibe of the book club you’re trying to create and can be counted on to attend with some regularity. Just like most other things in life, reading is always better if you can do it with friends.
Meri Wolff is a lover of all things joyful, cheerful, happy and merry. A proud resident of New York City, she is a writer, philanthropist, food enthusiast and adventurer. You can follow her on Twitter (@seektobemerry) and Facebook, and visit her blog at www.seektobemerry.com.