I recently joined a Monthly Book Club. I found this wonderful friend in my neighborhood who started this Monthly Book Club with several of her friends to form a group of 14 women. Each month, we meet over dinner to discuss the book of the month (and of course other life events). It’s a great way to prioritize something for myself – both the aspect of reading a book and a scheduled Mom’s Night Out.
Here are some tips on starting your own Book Club!
The thing is these friends don’t have to be people you personally know. Have your friends ask their friends if they want to join the book club too! Each person is in a different phase of life – some with grown children, middle school kids, toddler kids, some not even moms yet, and that’s ok! Working women, stay at home moms, neighborhood friends, gym friends, friends of friends. Everyone will get to know each other over the course of the Book Club journey and it’s a great way to branch out and meet new people.
Try to come up with a general routine – such as the first Monday in a month, or the last Thursday. Week days are great so you don’t have to compete with the busy schedules of the weekends, and generally more people are consistently available. Our time is set to 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Plenty of time to eat, chat, and discuss. It’s easiest to meet at someone’s house – less noise than a restaurant and allows people to come and go as needed. And while the date can be changed as needed (such as host on vacation, etc.) it gives everyone a general idea of when to meet.
Your book club can be centered around a certain genre or have each person select a book to read. Having each person select a book to read also takes the burden off of the book club originator. Set a few ground rules. Do you want to limit books by page number (i.e. time it takes to read)? Will your club stick only to books found at The Lafayette Public Library (and the Libby app) or is your club ok with buying books? Start assigning each book a specific month. This helps everyone prioritize which book to read next in the event they want to start the next book a bit early or time for a popular new release to become available.
Pro Tips: Libby is an app offered through the library that has both ebooks and audiobooks. You can get on the borrow list for all books in your book club and “delay” your loan until you are ready for it. This is particularly useful for high demand books. You can also adjust the speed of the audio if listening to the audio book. This may take a second to get used to so slowly speed it up if this is new to you. I generally listen to books on x1.4 speed.
*Bonne Vie Macarons will also host book clubs at their bakery. They supply desserts and wine. This would be a fun and cozy alternative to someone’s house if needed. Bonne Vie Macarons also has the cutest Free Little Library, stocked with donations and new releases. Just remember to bring back the book for another person to read!
In the book club I attend, one person in the group is responsible for getting the book club questions each month – more so because she enjoys this task, but you can set this up however your group would like. Sometimes she makes up her own questions, other times they come from bookclubchat.com
You can ask as many questions as you’d like, but having questions prepared to discuss helps pull everyone back in to the book (also holds everyone more accountable to reading).
Since our book club meets around dinner time, there is always food in a pot luck style with everyone contributing. Use withlome.com to organize your Book Club meeting by entering date, time, address, any extra comments, RSVP with a yes or no, AND sign up for food options. For instance, you can do a nacho night and put all the ingredients necessary as choices for participants to sign up and bring to the meeting. Don’t forget the drinks and desserts!
Some fun food ideas: Pizza, tacos, potato bar, appetizer rounds, themed to food mentioned in books, sandwich bar, burgers, salad bar, pasta bar, soups during winter months.
*Need some book and dessert ideas? Bonne Vie Macarons often does book themed desserts. Heather is a truly wonderful person and her desserts are so artistically done.