[Note from Frolic: We’re excited to welcome our friends from Bookclubz to the site today! They have tons of great tips for hosting a super successful book club. Follow them on Instagram here! Take it away, guys!]
1. Organize yo’self.
Have you heard about Bookclubz? The best kept secret in book club organizing?! You can rely on Bookclubz to keep organization high and stress low, because let’s be real, poor planning can cause the most anticipated book club meeting to flop or most awesome club to fizzle. Bookclubz is an easy-to-use online tool that can help you organize your book club. Unlike facebook groups or meet-up, Bookclubz was designed specifically by and for book clubs. The site helps you manage your book club membership, schedule meetings, track RSVPs, send messages, rate books, keep a library of books your club has read, and create a list of books your club would like to read. Get your club on the site today, you’ll be the most put-together book club leader around.
2. Read good books.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but choosing great discussion books is hard! Getting better at it will up your book club’s game. Branch out from celebrity book lists or automated recommendation engines. Bookclubz can come in handy here too. Bookclubz allows all members to recommend books to the club, and can help you democratize the voting process by voting via the Bookclubz polling feature.
3. Define the Relationship.
In book club land this means choosing a theme for your club, or your year and setting some intentions around it. In 2020 your club could commit to discovering female authors from around the world or picking a different country or region each month? Maybe genre reading is your thing…romance anyone? Stick to contemporary new releases for the year, or how about a classics book club? Your theme could even be “variety” with the aim to squeeze in a fiction, non-fiction, short story, classic, history, mystery, and romance all in one year! A book club’s gotta know who it is.
4. Discuss openly.
This is where wine comes into play. Let the book discussion flow organically. Remember you can always refer to discussion questions and reviews when you need to. A simple question like “which character did you relate to most?” will go a long way. Someone is bound to have a burning question or strong opinion to kick things off. Let it flow from there. Trust one another and be respectful. Keep the discussion rolling, but don’t let any one person dominate the conversation. We’ve all been in that book club.
5. Don’t exclude authors!
You are in a book club because you love (wine: friends: conversation: community) books! Guess what, books wouldn’t exist without authors. They are real people and your club should feel good about including and supporting them! Check out an author event once a year as a club, or with a nice note let the author know how much the book impacted your lives or inspired a lively discussion. Choose one meeting a year where everyone actually purchases the book. Better yet, once a year splurge to have an author join or virtually facilitate your club. Bookclubz can help with that, often for free…or contact the author directly, they’ll often join for a small fee.
6. Get out.
Book club night out, anyone? Maybe your club meets in the library every month or in members’ living rooms. How cozy! At least one month a year, shake it up. Go see a film based on the book you read, have a boozy book club brunch. While a routine meeting space will give your book club an identity and character, changing it up at least once a year adds just the right amount of spice to keep things interesting…and long lasting.
7. Even better, book club members, retreat!
A growing trend for book clubs. How about an annual retreat?! Go away together and dedicate the day or weekend to reading, book discussion, and setting your agenda/calendar for the year as a club. This retreat could be to a fabulous destination, the spa, beach, lake, or even just a day together around town. Start with brunch, hit the library, and pop in to your favorite local bookstore. A post-retreat book club is bound to be the best!