If you’re hosting your first book club, you may be feeling nervous and excited all at once. Book clubs are fun, but they also require careful planning to ensure that everyone has a good time and that the host doesn’t end up with too much extra work on their hands. Book clubs can be a great way to keep reading interesting. And they’re also the perfect excuse to get together with friends, coworkers, and family members regularly. Not only that but book clubs have been shown to encourage discussion and analysis in ways that casual conversation doesn’t.
Learn some tips on hosting your first book club meeting, including everything from what topics to choose and what other things you need to prepare.
Choose an Interesting Topic
It can be hard to choose a topic that everyone in your group is interested in. One way to make sure you get something people are excited about is to choose an idea that may be controversial or provocative. It can be fun for some, but uncomfortable for others. The exact opposite works as well; you might want to read something light and easy to read just because it’s different from what people would normally pick.
Invite People with Diverse Reading Tastes
All book clubs have one thing in common: they’re made up of people with similar tastes in books. That’s not always easy to come by, so if you can find like-minded individuals who complement your group it will make hosting a book club easier and more enjoyable. Select your guest list wisely and mix things up with different perspectives on literature. You never know when one person’s wild interpretation will inspire others to see a text in a new light.
Select a Comfortable Spot in Your Home
You may not have created your book club with hosting in mind, but if you decide to entertain in your home, pick a comfortable space where guests can sit and chat. A unique but comfortable spot in your home can be your backyard where you can relax under a large shade tree as you talk about books over refreshments. Prepare cushions for your guests to sit on and lights to make the vibe cozier to discuss your favorite book.
Also, don’t forget to practice proper lawn care weeks before your scheduled meeting time. Make sure that everything is well-maintained and tidy so you will have no worries when it comes time to meet up!
Stay in the Loop by Creating a Group Chat
Instead of pinning down everyone’s schedules, sending back and forth invites, and figuring out all logistics that go into coordinating book club meetings, create a private group chat in your favorite messaging app. Within that space, you can announce important reading dates like when you’ll choose next month’s book, share links to book reviews, and chat as it relates to books. This way, all discussion doesn’t live within one medium— you don’t want a constant stream of book talk floating around on Facebook. The best part? It keeps everything organized. You will always know who has finished what and who needs to read what before picking up next month’s choice.
Prepare Drinks and Snacks
Nothing breaks up an engaging discussion more than having to get up to retrieve more coffee or wine. Make sure you have snacks and drinks at hand before your guests arrive. Having plenty of refreshments on hand means you won’t be scrambling to get things together when it comes time to host a gathering. It also prevents interruptions, which can break up conversations. Your guests will appreciate being able to get drinks or food without disrupting others in their group.
Have an Organized First Meeting
Remember, your book club isn’t just about discussing books — it’s also about making friends and having fun. To make sure you hit all of these goals, set up an activity at or near your meeting location so that attendees have something to do before or after they talk books. A trivia game, a board game, or even cake and ice cream are perfect ways to end your gathering on a fun note!
You should have activities prepared after your discussion. Search for literary games online fitting for your age group and reading level. Fun activities can mean more bonding time and a chance to get to know your members more. It will also get you plus points for being a thoughtful hostess!
Be Ready for Discussions and Questions
When you select books for your book club, make sure to pick books that are provocative enough to inspire interesting discussions, but not so controversial that people feel uncomfortable with their opinions. Also, ask people to read two or three chapters ahead of each meeting, so they can be prepared for discussion topics.
Having a book club is such a great way to spend time with other people while sharing the thing you love. To better be prepared for your first meeting as a hostess, plan weeks before. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with your co-members, too.