Are you also in love with books? Do you often look for people to discuss literature with? Many people enjoy reading, but it can be challenging to find someone who loves the same book as you and is interested in being a part of a discussion — especially if you love a less popular genre or title. If you can relate to all this and are having difficulty finding readers to talk with about your favorite book, you can consider joining or starting a book club. Not only for discussions, but they can be a great place to meet new people and make friends with similar reading lists.
Keep reading, and you’ll know how to navigate your way around a book club.
What exactly is a Book Club?
A book club is basically like a reading group, usually consisting of several members who enjoy reading and talking about books. The discussion topics are typically based on a pre-decided title or a common reading list. Book clubs generally choose a classic text for discussions that all members are expected to read.
Book club meets can be formal, like meeting regularly at a set location. Some of them meet monthly, hence providing their members with time to read the next title. Book clubs can focus on a literary critique or less academic topics. Some book clubs concentrate on a specific genre, for example, Romance or Horror.
You can also find book clubs dedicated to a particular author or series. And, if you can’t find a book club that would cater to your reading interests, why not think about starting your own?
How to find members initially for your Book Club?
Go to your friends, or create an Instagram poll. You will find readers who would want to talk about books as much as you; just put a word out there. Once you kickstart your Book Club, the word will spread, and you will no longer be in anonymity. And what are friends with common reading lists for, if not starting a conversation?
How to choose books for Book Club discussions?
Deciding what to read in your club can be tricky, especially if your club lacks a theme. Many books have lists of discussion questions at the end, which are perfect for starting conversations. Books can be chosen as a group or by the club leader. Some clubs rotate who selects the reading material. And for a good start, you can simply go with that one book that everybody is reading now.
For example, the most popular books currently are –
To know more about Atomic Habits, you can read here:
Fiction: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
To know more about The Alchemist, you can read here:
And if you are confused about which genre to read, just ask your book club members which genre they prefer. And go with the popular choice. Perhaps your book club will be solely a fantasy-based group. Or possibly you’ll cover all genres and ages! There’s no one correct answer, so decide what’s best for you and your members. You can just vote and see which one has the majority.
When selecting titles to read and discuss, pick books easily accessible to all your Book Club members and let them dive into the story in the format they choose or are comfortable with. This includes checking if the selected book is available as an eBook, physical book, and audiobook. Ask members if any formats don’t work or aren’t accessible to them, and make mindful choices.
How do we share the word about our Book Club?
Social media can be your go-to for putting the word out there. If you aren’t already an active member of Book Tok or the Bookstagram community, consider checking out some famous book bloggers to see what titles are buzzing and catching a lot of hype. It will help you pick the popular tags, and you can also take inspiration from establishing your own brand identity.
So, there is word of mouth and social media as ways to put information out about your new Book Club.
How are discussions guided in a Book Club?
Book clubs can quickly turn from discussing metaphors and foreshadowing to catching up with old and new friends. It’s tempting to let the conversation flow organically, but one should be prepared with a list of discussion questions/ prompts or thought-provoking comments. For popular book club reads, you can often find discussion questions online. You can also ask each member to ask some questions or put forward their thoughts to start the conversation or continue it.
Discussion guides are only the tip of the iceberg regarding Book Club discussions. You can catch up on the author’s interviews, essays, and more for a somewhat complete picture of their writing process. This will lead to a more wholesome discussion. And keep the group from getting distracted. So be ready for distractions, and prepare in advance. As a leader or moderator, you would have to bring back the discussion point repeatedly.
Here are some ideas for general questions to get started:
- What were your thoughts about the main character(s)? Did you find them relatable? Likable? Why/why not?
- Were there any favorite passages that you highlighted?
- Which scene stuck with you the most and why?
- Did the ending surprise you, or did you anticipate it?
- Who would you cast in a movie adaptation?
- What would it be if you could ask the author about one of the characters?
How to find a platform for your Book Club?
You can start an independent Book Club and moderate it single-handedly through your social media or word-of-mouth strategy. But you can also find platforms to register your Book Club and avail the benefits of a more extensive community.
Empowr Club is a platform designed especially for that. We are working towards building a community of readers, and in turn, you can register your Book Club with us to provide that community space for discussions.
Whether it is author meets, guidelines for a proper Book Club functioning, or technical support of fellow readers, you can have it all here.
If interested, you can register on our application or email us to know more.
Email for Empowr Club: firstname.lastname@example.org