Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Have you always wanted to be a part of a book club? Make 2019 your year! You may have to be the one to organize it, but it will be worth it – trust me! It really holds you accountable to read more which I think is a goal of many people. It also sometimes gets you reading genres you might not have read on your own. You may also make some new friends. Really, you have nothing to lose!
I am currently in my second book club. The first ran its course after about 4 years together, which I thought was pretty good. It lost and gained a few members and by the end we were down to about 4 people and we just let it fade out, but it was a lot of fun. We read a lot of books! One of our most memorable nights was when we sat in one of the members’ tree house (seriously – her husband built it and it had a table and seating for 8!) and discussed Fifty Shades of Grey with themed foods – garlic knots, playroom punch, laters baby taters. Haha!
My second book club had its first year in 2018 and it was pretty successful!
Here is how we organized ours:
-We decided to do Thursday nights at 6:30 and rotate houses. If it was your month you would pick the book and be the hostess.
-We sent out 9 months of Thursday dates via email and everyone picked a month and went ahead and gave their book title. This worked much better than waiting until the month before for each person to pick their book like my first book club did. Many people like to order their books from Amazon in advance or request from the library.
-We did February, March, April, May, June, July, October, and November of 2018. We skipped August and December because they were so busy with school starting and Christmas.
-Eight months worked out perfectly because we had 8 members to start, but you could also do 4 people hosting twice each.
-As the year went on, we had a couple of people drop out. We just cancelled those months or talked about the books at the following months’ meeting.
-Don’t get your feelings hurt if you ask someone and they say no. Some people are at a busy season in their lives and some people just aren’t readers. I had a couple of gals say no and that was fine.
-Who do you ask? You can ask neighbors, co-workers, people from church, friends, friends of friends that you know like to read. My current group ranges in age from early 40s to mid 50s and has married and divorced women. I have a friend who is in a different book club with her friends and her mom and some of her mom’s friends! I think a variety of ages can give a variety of perspectives.
-Don’t get your feelings hurt if someone drops out. They may just not be able to honor the time commitment and it’s not personal.
-After everyone has picked their month and their book selection, people just need to start reading!
-A week before each meeting, someone should email or text a reminder and a request for a RSVP so that the host can plan for table seating, plates, napkins, glasses, etc.
-The host usually makes an appetizer and provides some wine for our group. Everyone else brings an appetizer and a bottle of wine or a drink of their choice. We decided to keep it simple and everyone loves an appetizer meal. You can bring store bought and that is totally fine. Sometimes the host does a dessert, too,
-Our rule is that we talk about the book, including the ending even if some haven’t finished or even started the book. We still encourage everyone to come even if it was a bad month of reading for them. To be honest, there was only one month where every single person read the whole book and it was the first month and it was my pick! Lol! (Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us – it was a pretty quick read and a good one to get us started)
-We don’t just talk about the book, of course! We have talked about all kinds of things and had lots of laughs. I tend to be the one to steer us back to the book or to make sure that our conversation at least involves the book in part. It’s the teacher in me!
So, do you want to start a book club this year?
For 2019 our dates are: 2/28, 3/21, 4/25, 5/23, 6/27, 7/25, 9/26, and 10/24. We do the last Thursday of the month or close to the last if a holiday is involved. We may add just a dinner out in November but November got cancelled last year.
Here are some authors and book suggestions if your group needs them:
Colleen Hoover, Elizabeth Berg, Lianne Moriarity, Elin Hildebrand
The Last Mrs. Parrish
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
All We Ever Wanted
Happy book clubbing! Let me know if you are already in a book club or plan to start one!
*Full disclosure: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and I have only had one person respond to my book club email for this year. The one that responded was a no. So, I will send one more request but I may not have a book club for this year, sadly.