Thinking of setting up your own book club? Learn how to get started with our top tips, and get your first session under way with our reading group discussion questions for our book of the month: The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden.
Whether you’re looking for like-minded literature lovers to discuss the latest bestseller, or simply want to chat over a glass of wine, book clubs are the perfect way to get together with friends and discover new books. Thinking of starting one of your own? Simply follow our seven easy steps below:
Find a great group of people
The ideal size of a book club is between eight and 16 members – this way, there’ll be enough people there if not everyone can make the meet-ups, but not too many to make discussions unwieldy! A great way to gather a diverse mix of people is to invite three or five people, and ask a couple of friends to do the same.
Decide what sort of books you want to read
Get together with your book club members and think about what you want to read. Fiction or non-fiction? Do you want to stick to one genre, such as crime or romance, or read or mix? Do you want to focus on a different author, genre, time period or topic each month? Wherever you decide to start, remember that it’s worth mixing things up to keep your book club interesting.
Set the tone for your book club
How do you want to spend your time together? Are you a social book club, a serious book club or somewhere in the middle? There’s no right answer here – but it’s important to make sure that your members are on the same page!
Schedule in book club dates
Next, decide how often you want to meet. Fortnightly, once a month or every two months? Set the schedule and stick to it – and make sure that meet-up dates are in everyone’s calendars a few weeks in advance.
Pick a book club-friendly venue
Where do you want to meet? A coffee shop, pub, or a friend’s house? Just remember to find a place that a) has enough space for your entire group, b) is convenient for everyone and c) is relatively free of distractions.
Book clubs do not often need a ‘leader’. However, it’s a good idea to appoint someone (or a different person each month) to get things moving. This person might be responsible for organising upcoming meetings, sending out reminder texts or e-mails, and shortlisting new books for everyone to vote on each month.
Meet up – and discuss!
The snacks, drinks and books are at the ready – so where do you start? You might want to consider:
- Gathering questions or discussion points from book club members and online resources, and reading them out to the group one-by-one.
- Writing questions on cards and asking each member to pick out of a hat to answer and then discuss with the rest of the group.
- Picking out specific passages from the book – an idea, a description, an exchange of dialogue – and asking members to comment.
Book Club Questions: The Bear & Nightingale
This month, the Monsoon Book Club are reading The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden. You can download the first chapter for free by clicking here.
Ask the author…
We’re hosting a Q&A with The Bear and The Nightingale author Katherine Arden.
Enter your questions in the comments section below and we’ll be choosing our favourites to ask Katherine.