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Advice on starting a book club

(12 Posts)
Renniehorta Wed 28-Mar-12 13:54:40

That is it really. We are a small group of friends and we are thinking about starting a book club in the autumn. Our mutual interest is Spanish, so we will be reading Spanish lit. We have lots of ideas about what we want to read, so that is not an issue.

What I would like is the top tips from members of book clubs. From experience what should we do and probably even more important what should we avoid doing?

whereismywine Sun 01-Apr-12 21:25:44

I've found just having one book for a meet up can be limiting and in the two book groups I've been in, the one that did that well we always started talking about other books we were reading - which was fine but a bit drifty. My other group often went by theme. So, if it was Spanish, there would be a choice of two or three and we would read as many as we could. There were twelve of us and it worked. Sometimes I read them all and other times not, but it would urge me to read/avoid the ones I hadn't. We could also bring along other suggestions by that theme to tempt the rest of the group with. Other months we would read prize books (orange/booker) which I enjoyed and we had vested interest in who we thought should win. When we all read the same, it's good to have questions to move the discussion on. Nibbles and wine are always useful!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 06-Apr-12 08:49:08

Depends on how well you know them and whether is a serious discussion about the books or a chance to meet up once a month and see each other.

One thing we've done, and we have about 12 too, is to all bring one or two books to the first meeting of the year. Each person talked about the books they'd brought and the group got to choose one of their choices IYKWIM. We then had a list of 12 books for the year.

One thing I would recommend is laying down some ground rules on hospitality although that's not an issue if you are meeting in a coffee shop or pub. You don't want people to start outdoing one another with baking or making supper or people not coming because they can't afford to put on wine and cakes. A few simple nibbles and tea/coffee, guests should feel free to bring their own wine if thats what they fancy.

Renniehorta Fri 27-Apr-12 16:39:50

Thanks whereismywine and jiltedjohnsjulie, I really appreciate your advice. We are meeting for the first time in 2 weeks so I am still keen to hear if anyone else has any useful advice.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 06-May-12 16:31:42

How did your first meeting go Rennie?

Renniehorta Fri 11-May-12 22:03:46


We are actually meeting next week to discuss how to organise ourselves. So if anyone else has any advise or warnings I am still really keen to read them. Thanks in advance

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 17-May-12 22:20:21

Sorry was a bit premature there blush.

CoteDAzur Thu 17-May-12 22:24:05

Whatever you do, don't go over 8 people and ideally have only 6 in your book club.

Anyexcuse Sat 29-Sep-12 21:40:30

Our book group has been going for over 10 years now and we all still love it. Some practical advice - we take turns alphabetically to host (saves trying to work out whose turn it is), host chooses next month's book and brings discussion questions and (most importantly) we save a tenner a month each into a weekend away kitty and every year we go somewhere lovely to drink wine. Works for us..

CityGirl848 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:56

Rennie- it might be easier to just go to your local library? That may sound really silly but they will always support things like this, with guidelines etc- plus should be able to recommend some good books! And lend them to you for free! smile

Thewhingingdefective Mon 28-Jan-13 13:33:04

Our group has been running for seven years. We are a group of ten friends (numbers fluctuate slightly) and usually it's hosted by three of the people who take turns (they just have more space for us all). We all take a plate of food and/or bottle of wine and meet roughly every 4-5 weeks.

We have used various systems for choosing a book-

*pulling a person's name out of a hat so that person has a month to think about their choice and announces at the next meeting

*all put book titles into hat and pull one out

*alternating fiction and non fiction

*choosing a genre and voting on suggestions put forward for that genre

Our meetings follow a simple structure - we talk about the book (sometimes we have a more formal discussion with some questions to prompt the flow of conversation, other times we just launch straight in), then we break for food, then we let everyone talk a bit about other things they've read, then we choose the next book and set the date and venue for the next meet.

I absolutely love being in a reading group.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 07-Apr-13 23:26:52

We take it in turns to host the book group and choose a book.

We meet at 6, set aside the first hour or so for wine and catch up, then have dinner, then discuss the book. The host normally prepares some questions just in case the conversation meanders.

Choose next date together at end of meeting, unless too drunk.

Taxis home.

No more than 6 people.

I started it 3 years ago and it's still going strong!

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