How to Start Your Own Book Club

How to Start Your Own Book Club

Once upon a time about two years ago, I had a free night with no kids and no husband (I think the kids were off at friends’ houses and David was working), so I decided to go to a movie. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a movie solo…but you should definitely try it if you haven’t (when all this COVID-19 mess is over)! Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies with friends and family, but there’s something therapeutic about going to a movie solo–the movie selection is all yours, you get an entire section to yourself, you don’t have to share popcorn or snacks, and you can cry and laugh at the stupid parts without judgement.

Anyways…on this particular night, I decided to go see a movie called Book Club starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. It was a total “chick-flick”, but that’s right up my alley. To make a long story short, it was about this group of older women that had a book club and they decided to read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. They would take a month to read one book and then meet up, have some drinks, and discuss the book and their lives (basically an excuse to have a girls’ night once a month).

This got me thinking…so the next day while having coffee at my friend Christy’s house, I told her that I wanted to start a book club. I explained to her the movie I had seen and asked her if she’d be interested. And that was the birth of our book club! We initially invited two other women in our neighborhood and Christy chose our first book Little Fires Everywhere By: Celeste Ng

Two years and counting…and we are still going strong! We have added members and sadly lost one (she moved away). We’re currently at six members. We’ve read a total of 18 books since we began, each unique in their own way. Here are the ones that I can recall at the moment that we’ve already read:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel: Honeyman, Gail ...The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel ...
When She Woke: A Novel: Jordan, Hillary: 9781616201937: ...
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel: Stedman, M.L.: 9781501127977 ... The Nightingale: A Novel eBook: Hannah, Kristin ...Defending Jacob | William Landay
All the books our club has read (hope I’m not leaving one out…)

If you want to start up a book club, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You just need a couple close friends that enjoy reading and getting together with friends. When starting a book club, you might wanna think about things like who you’d like to invite, how often you’d like to meet, how your club will select the book, and where/when you guys will meet for book club.

Me (being the teacher that I am) and my book club established early on that we would rotate the book selection in order from member-to-member each month. The person that selects the book that month, is also in charge of hosting book club once it’s been read. That person decides if book club will be held at their house or a restaurant (we’ve met at both). Sometimes the host asks for each person to bring a food item, and sometimes they provide it all. For each meeting, we have dinner and drinks and discuss the book. After we eat, we usually begin the book discussion. I usually read aloud the discussion questions (many books have discussion questions in the back of the book, or you can usually find some online) and many times we veer off topic and discuss our own lives. At the end of the night, the next member reveals the upcoming book to be read and we set a date for the next meet. This is how we have operate, but it can operate however you and your friends like.

Here’s the thing about book club…while reading the books and discussing them is a big part of it, it’s the fellowship with friends that make book club so much fun! Friendships are like marriages…you have to make time for each other and be intentional in doing that or they will fizzle out. Catching up with these ladies once a month keeps us very much apart of each other’s lives. I’m so glad that I had this idea over two years ago. I really believe that we’ll continue on this journey for many years to come. If you decide to start your own book club, let me know how it turns out! Also, I’d love any suggestions on great reads that you’d like to share! Happy reading 🙂

Sincerely, Sunny

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