How to find a book club - or start one!

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, February 6, 2017
Hookline depends on book groups and sometimes readers contact us asking how to find a book group or even how to start one.
If you wish to find a book group, there are two websites I would recommend:
Bookgroup.info is a UK website with recommendations on what to read and links to groups in a given area.
The Reading Agency has a formal relationship with libraries, can recommend books and help you find a book club in your area.
If there are no groups in your community or village then you may need to start one:
Who to include? Start with family and friends plus word of mouth. You will be amazed at how many people reach out saying they would love to be part of a group. You may even want to put news of the group in a community or church newsletter to attract more readers.
Where to gather? Many groups meet in each other's homes, taking turns. Others use a cafe or a local pub - taking care to book a quiet nook where you can hear each other.
When? Most groups meet monthly as this allows time to read an average novel. For consistency sake, many groups decide on a day of the week within a month i.e. the first Wednesday of each month or the last Tuesday.
What to read? Usually groups take turns at suggesting a novel. Keep it to paperbacks as new release hardbacks are expensive. 
How to conduct meetings? This varies from group to group. It's usually a good idea to begin by letting the person who proposed the novel say why they did so. After that, some groups let discussion flow organically, with readers speaking as they feel stirred. Others take turns to let everyone give their thoughts. Still others follow discussion of plot, characters, writing style and whether they would recommend the book to others.
Every book group is different. The joy is how readers come together - we share, we learn and we go away renewed and happy.
Please email me if you would like more suggestions on starting your own book club.



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Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books - where book clubs and readers choose the novels that go to print.

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