Starting a book group

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
People often tell me they would love to belong to a book group, but they either don't have one in their community or, if they do, it is full.
'Start your own,' is my reply.
It sounds like a huge task, but it really isn't.
Firstly, put the word out - through word-of-mouth, a local newsletter, posting in a library or cafe, twitter, whatever. Provide an email address where people can contact you.
Choose a public spot for your first meeting - a cafe, pub, library. Check with the venue that you can have a table large enough. Choose a spot where it is relatively quiet. You do not want people to have to yell over the sound of dishes.
On your first meeting, keep it light. Let everyone get to know each other and feel comfortable. Talk about your favourite books and why you want to join a book group.
Discuss any rules such as no hard back books (expensive), how often you will meet, where, what genre of novel you will read or stay away from, how the books will be chosen (most groups let members take turns at suggesting the book).
There you have it - your newly formed book group. Members will drop out and new people will join. Most groups are fairly organic, changing slowly through the years. Although many have been going unchanged for decades.


Tags: "book groups" "starting a book group" "reading group" "starting a reading group" 
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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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