Stay connected with your closest friends, even while distancing! We've rounded up ten ideas on how to host a book club, whether that be virtual or in person. Read on!
1. Find your book-loving tribe. The chemistry and make-up of your group will have a huge impact on how much you get from the experience. This doesn't mean the group needs to be made up of your closest friends... but consider fit and chemistry as you invite people to participate. We love the Goodreads app as a way to connect with other like-minded readers who share your interests and enjoy curling up with a great book. Remember that different perspectives can lead to thought-provoking conversations.
Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez
2. Choose the right frequency. Decide how often you'll meet. Weekly may feel overwhelming to those who are new to book clubs. Monthly may be the right place to start.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
3. Not ready to get together in person? Host parties as a live chat on Facebook Messenger or Zoom with a fun virtual background. Minted has some beautiful free virtual backgrounds, perfectly-proportioned to make your book club meeting on Zoom coordinated and festive! Find instructions on how to set up and use your virtual background here.
4. Match your food to the read! Choose menu items that relate to the era or content of the book. You'll open up your senses to something new and more fully immerse yourself in the book you'll be discussing! P.S. This DIY Charcuterie Board has us swooning, and it's made up of ingredients you can find at Trader Joe's! Find instructions on how to put something like this together over on their blog.
Photo Credit: Style Your Senses
5. Uncork a bottle. Let's be honest, book clubs and wine clubs go hand in hand. If you're meeting remotely, create a simple sign-up sheet and have a different person provide the wine each week. If your group is small and local, have that person deliver a bottle to the porch of each club member. Choose a time to uncork it together on screen. If your group is larger or is spread out, have a different person make a wine recommendation for each meeting. Participants can run out to their favorite local wine shop prior to the meeting to grab the bottle themselves.
6. Keep a Journal. Taking notes as you read will lead to more insightful conversation! The Book Lover's Journal is the perfect place to jot down your thoughts and insights as you grow your library. This set comes with the cutest little bookmark, as well as an Official Borrowed Book Log so you can keep track of your beloved books that are loaned and returned! Tip: This also makes a great gift for book club friends!
7. Ask great questions. Sometimes all it takes is a good open-ended question to get the conversation buzzing. Here are a few questions we love to get you started:
- Who was your favorite character? Why?
- Who was your least favorite character? Why?
- Do you have a favorite line or quote? Why?
- What themes are most frequent throughout the novel?
- If you could meet one of the characters, who would it be?
- Did the book's ending surprise you?
- Which character did you relate most to, and why?
- Did anything about this book challenge you personally? How?
- Could the novel be improved? If so, how?
- If this book were to be made into a movie, who would you cast for the lead characters?
- How would you rate book on a scale 1 to 10?
8. Don't be afraid of a healthy debate. Nothing is more boring than a book club where everyone agrees. Some lively debate will make your experience more thought-provoking and will challenge you to think more deeply about the book.
9. Follow along with a celebrity book club. Here are links to some celebrity-run clubs you may want to check out.
- Oprah's Book Club
- Reese's Book Club
- Emma Roberts Book Club
- Between Two Books (Florence Welch)
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Our Shared Shelf (Emma Watson)
10. Read different books! Rather than having everyone read the same book, consider having each person read a different book and then gather together to discuss what you thought about the book. This is a great way to make recommendations on reads. Pass your books around the group to share them with your friends, and don't forget to fill out a borrowed book log to keep track of who you've loaned your books to!