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How to start a book club


For the book lovers among us, a book club is a fantastic way to connect with others over a shared passion, but – whether it’s online or offline – how do you actually go about starting one?

The first step to starting a book club is finding other people who want to get involved. Look to your inner circle. Contact friends and family in person and on social media to see if they’d be keen to take part or if they know anyone within their broader circle who might like to join. As well as posting online, take your search offline with a flyer on a community noticeboard, at your favourite coffee shop or – most importantly – your local bookstore.

While it’s not necessarily foolproof, you should be aiming for about seven people in total to take part. Any more than 10 people and each person may not get the chance to participate during discussions.

When it comes to picking a place to host your book club, you could offer up your home and start a roster where each member will host at his or her house. Or choose a café or restaurant that’s pretty convenient (majority rules) for the group and get a standing reservation. They may even have a quieter room you can use.

While you may have ideas for books to read and discuss, you can also look to online resources for inspiration and talk to members of the group. You’re probably never going to please everyone, but keeping the range of books diverse will help cater to everyone’s taste. Get a mix of fiction and non-fiction on the list and try something different each time – new releases, classics, autobiographies and crime. Choose authors who are living or dead, male or female, as well as reads that you know will spark up conversations – think Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

An online book club is also a fantastic way to connect with others and you won’t have to worry about your geographical location. You could start an online book club on Facebook or another social networking platform using a private group to comment and share your opinions on a chosen book.

Not only does an online space like Better Reading offer inspiration for book club reading lists, but it also has an online community and discussion platform that you can join.

If you’re looking for flexibility and easy accessibility depending on your existing time commitments, joining an existing online book club could be the best option.

Online or offline, you’ll be engaging with others over a shared interest that’s sure to bring some new opinions and interpretations to your reading list.

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