How to Start a Book Club
Advertise in your local newspaper, library, church, and bookstore.
Make sure you are explicit about the fact that it is a club of people who read the same book and then discuss it. Some people associate a book club with ordering books at a reduced cost.
If you live in a big community, you could start a bookclub by advertising on our website for free. Email us the following information: your club's name with a request for how many members, a contact name, email and phone number. We will then create a web page and link it to the page of your province.
Look for a diverse group of people.
A good range could include people with strong Christian views and/or earth-based religions, teachers, stay-at-home parents, writers, farmers, counsellors, entrepreneurs/small business owners. If all your members have similar attitudes and viewpoints, your book discussions will be short and lackluster. Your book club may also fade into oblivion.
Hold your first meeting to discuss the rules or standards your club will follow.
Ask all your prospective members to come with two book suggestions. Your agenda should cover these questions which everyone should answer:
- Why do I want to join a book club and what do I expect to get out of it?
- What kinds of books would I like to read?
- What is the cost limits to books? (paper backs only?)
- How will we pay for them and when?
- When should we meet?
- What about summer holidays and Christmas?
- Can the schedule be altered? How? And for what reasons?
- What are the responsibilities of each member? If I don't finish the book can I still come to the meeting?
- Who will host? What does hosting include? Limits to food costs? Kinds of food?
- Who will lead book discussions? The person who recommended the book? (Need to avoid hosting and leading a book discussion at the same time?) Do we want to designate a permanent leader?
- When does a person talk out of order? How should it be handled? Who should handle it?
- What about smoking, pets, tardiness, and telephone calls during book discussions?
- What if a person wants to be a guest or become a member? (Discuss with members ahead of time.)
- How will we select the books we want to read?
- Who will order the books, keep the host/leader rotation, and maintain records of what was read and when, who suggested which books?
- Anything missed?
- Discuss book suggestions brought today and choose.