We held this month’s book club last week, and were chatting about how happy we are that we finally started the monthly tradition this year. It’s been a great motivation to read more, has exposed us all to books we might not consider otherwise, and is the best excuse to snack, drink and visit with each other regularly.
Because of how much we’ve loved our book club, we wanted to share a few tips about how we’ve set up our meetings to help inspire any others who are considering starting their own.
1. Set a schedule. We meet once a month, typically aiming for the first week of the month, but has February thrown us off a little. We rotate hosts, meeting at each of our homes post-work or on a weekend afternoon. After we meet, the host will pick the next month’s book. This month, we met at Ashley’s house to discuss In the Country.
2. Put together a spread. The bites and drinks are key to making a successful book club meeting. Typically, we’ll each bring a little something to snack or sip on while we chat. This month, naturally, had a bit of a Valentine’s Day theme, so there was no shortage of chocolate or wine.
3. Prep a few talking points. Help get the discussion started by jotting down notes while you read, and then bringing a few questions or topics to discuss with everyone else. In the Country was a collection of nine short stories from the perspective of men and women of the Philippines, so we spent quite a bit of time discussing the different voices of each story — recognizing the importance of a strong voice in short stories. We also talked about the themes we saw consistent throughout the collection, finding that many of the stories revolved around a feeling of being an outsider, and not belonging.
4. Stay consistent. People are going to get busier, and schedules are going to conflict — but don’t get into the habit of canceling or rescheduling the date you pick to meet. This is a slippery slope, and eventually will make it that much easier for two or three months to go by without meeting, or the club to end completely. Do your best to stick to the date that you set and manage your schedule around it…it’s worth it.
Starting a book club soon? Been part of one for years? We’d love to hear about what works best for you!