Knowing how to structure your book club is vital for its success.
The structure of your book readings should differ depending on the type of book club you want to own, and also on the type of readers you have. And if you’ve been to various book club meetings, you may have noticed how some structure their readings differently to others.
Here are some structures you can adopt for your own book club:
Book clubs that follow a discussion guide
If you like things being in order, you should consider using a discussion guide. Using a discussion guide in a book club will allow the readers to cover all the major themes or topics of the book.
These discussion guides are mostly found for free online – as provided by the publishers. They give all readers an idea of the possible discussions that can arise during the session.
Clubs that read chapter by chapter
This is a type of structure perfect for an online book club.
Mind you, it does not mean if you own a physical book club, you cannot use this structure. If your book club consists of readers who are very keen on details, then it is the best fit for them – because through reading chapter by chapter, they will get to dig deep into the small details that make up the book.
However, you must not neglect time if you choose this structure. Allocate the time appropriately and preferably have a timekeeper or an alarm that goes off when it is time for other activities.
By doing so, you do not get to the end of the meeting and realize you are just halfway through the book. This happens!
Book clubs that follow a structure-free discussion
You might be someone who prefers to own a book club with less structure and more freedom. This is also great! Just go with the flow and let your readers enjoy a great time discussing the selected book.
Book clubs that allow members to ask questions
Perhaps you intend to get your readers involved and chatty during your sessions. This will be a good structure you can adopt for your book club.
Here, you will inform your readers ahead of the session to read through the book and write out questions or areas of discussion they are interested in. The questions are brought to the club meeting, and everyone gets to contribute.
The areas that can pique readers are those that are funny, those they feel are unnecessary, those they need clarity for, those they disagree with the author on, and so many others.
Book clubs that divide and digest the book
Books differ in settings, intent, plot, twists, characters, etc. Sometimes, books selected in a book club can have a myriad of information or exciting parts that should be discussed and not rushed.
In those instances, the best choice is to break down the book based on how you want the discussion session. Do you want to talk about the setting, the plot, or even the accompanying feelings you had while you read the book? Then take a deep breath and allow your members to digest each aspect of the book until they are satisfied.
It might take a while, but it is worth the time.
These five ways of structuring a book club are not what you should decide on your own or even based on your personality every time. You must watch out for it over time or probably ask your readers after the first session.
Your readers should be why you adopt a particular structure – you can throw the question at them for the type of structure to adopt, but either way, never make your book club all about you.
Remember, there is no book club without readers!
Written by Ifemide Omolawal, an avid writer who enjoys interacting and ensuring that her readers feel the emotions with which she writes.