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by the book how to start a book club |  1 2 3 4
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Once you’ve gathered a good core group, decide on the whens and how oftens. You can organize a preliminary gathering in order to talk logistics in person, or go the email route to determine what’ll work best for all involved. It’s good to set aside a specific day of the week for your meetings – mine generally meets on a Wednesday, for instance – to make it easier for everyone to plan for that in their busy schedules. And bi-monthly, we’ve found, seems to work best, allowing everyone plenty of time to actually read the selected book.

how to choose your books
There are many ways to go about selecting what books to read, but here’s one that works for my book club. Since the meetings rotate around at different members’ homes, at the end of any given book club meeting, whoever’s hosting the next one offers up a handful of books that they’re interested in reading. The remaining members of the book club then vote on which book they’d most like to read for the next book club meeting. If you’re worried about picking a dud for your club, you can make it a rule to suggest only books that one person in the club has read (and liked, or feels may generate interesting discussion), but personally I think that takes away some of the fun – I look to book club to introduce me to new works that I might not have stumbled upon otherwise, and if sometimes those works are less than impressive, so be it.

how to get the discussion going
Nobody joins a book club wanting to get lectured, high-school-English-class style. A book club is a discussion forum, a way to get everyone talking and sharing ideas. The setting of your book club will, of course, help to set up the proper tone for the gathering. Meet at a public place like a library or a café, and you’ll almost certainly have a different sort of discussion than if you’re gathered around on comfy plush sofas, or sprawled out on big floor pillows, in the privacy of someone’s home. Personally, I far prefer the relaxed ambience of the latter.

Of course, plenty of food and drink helps get the conversation flowing as well. In our book club, whoever’s hosting a given book club night generally takes care of providing some libations and munchies, though it’s always appreciated if you come bearing a bottle of wine yourself. But a potluck style gathering would work equally as well. Either way, just make certain to establish how it’ll all work early on.

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