How do you start a project when many people are already engaged in the same project idea?
Most people have the same question about starting a book club. The fear of redundancy makes many people not venture out on that idea – but will you allow your passion for hosting a book club to die because you have a book club that runs down your street?
If you are ready to venture out on this journey of hosting a book club, follow me as I guide you on ‘How to start a book club?’
How To Start A Book Club
The following points will help you start up your own unique book club without any further delay. Also check out our website on the ‘“what, why, and how of a book club”.
Let’s dive in…
1. Determine the type of book club you want to host/own
This is the most important thing you must have an answer to before you start your book club. Although some spontaneously begin a book club with their friends, there will always be that question of ‘what book do we host or read?’
Knowing the type of book club you want to host will help your readers/members/community know you have a direction for them.
Here are some tips that will guide you. You can host a book club based on –
- A particular author
- Different authors
- Type of genre (romance, comedy, sci-fi, etc.)
- Monthly theme
- Other sectors (art industry, communication, health, etc.)
2. Find out the people you want to invite
A book club without any members can never attain its purpose, so find your members.
You can decide to choose a small group of people or a large group of people. For a small number of people, you can reach out to 4-5 of your close friends and tell them to reach their close friends likewise.
if you are considering a large group of people, however, you can go on campaigns in the community or a social media campaign and invite people.
3. Find out the best location for the gathering
As soon as you know the number of people you are expecting in your book club, you can plan for the location that will best suit you.
You can consider an online or a physical meeting. If you decide to go for the latter, would you prefer to meet at a restaurant, a coffee shop, a park, a library, or at home?
Whichever choice you make, ensure that your members are comfortable.
4. Determine the specific book to read and its accessibility
Now, you will also need to decide on the specific book you want to read per month or week. While the host has a say in the choice of book to select, you can also ask your members for ideas on the type of books they would like to read. A vote can be made, and the book for the month or week is selected.
You must also ensure that the book you select can be read in print or easily accessible online. The topic to choose and the book’s length should also be considered.
This is also as important as the type of book club to host. Lack of planning can lead to the fall of a book club, so you will need to pay detailed attention to everything involving starting a book club.
Details as little as meeting days and times for the discussion must not be forgotten or miscommunicated to your members. You will have to learn to carry them along and get to know them. Hosting or owning a book club is like having a family you want to run to when you need to forget about every other problem in the world.
6. Let the discussion sessions begin!
Hurray! Now that you have gone through steps 1 to 5, you are pumped up and ready to host the first session of your book club. It’s time to take that jump into the deep and enjoy the waters.
If you want an online platform, Facebook, Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and WhatsApp are all examples of channels that have worked pretty well for some people. You can try them out.
Existing Book Clubs!
There are several book clubs in the world that you can join. Some popular ones include:
- Literary Renaissance Foundation (LRF) Monthly Reading
- Oprah’s Book Club
- Andrew Luck Book Club
- Book Baristas
- Book Sparks
- Pure Wow Book Club
- The Social Book Club
- Book of the Month
- Poppy Loves Book Club
Join any of these clubs to gain experience if you want to host your book club or if you are a lover of books and feel the need to share your experience with other people.
Ifemide Omolawal is an avid writer and has a short story published in The Leading Girl Volume 6, as well as other unpublished novels.