Reading a book in community allows us to share the experience of a great book, learn from others, and even provides motivation to make it to the end. But starting a book club can be daunting. Reading books that you’re not interested in or organizing large groups of people to find a time and place and set a pace can make it all not worth it. Here’s 5things that I have tried that have worked.
- One person needs to decide to read the book first. Then invite others.This is important. People get frustrated when deliberation slows them down. If no one responds to the invitation, no loss. If people respond, you’ve created an opportunity.
- Go for smaller groups. 2 People is enough. 3 may be better. When you start to get into 4-5+ it becomes to be difficult to maximize an hour and plan a regular meeting.
- Structure the club around one particular book. That way you are only committing to a book that everyone is excited about. At the end of the book disband. If everyone is excited about the same book start another meeting but this provides the opportunity to add people and for people to step out.
- If 2 different people are interested in 2 different books start a new “group”. Multiple groups/books/days a week are ok. Remember, you are basing each group off of a book. Someone may have a lot of time and want to meet 3 times a week with discussing 3 different books but another person in the same community may be only able or interested in one book every other week. Remember tip #1. One person needs to decide to read the book and invite others. When a collective groups starts deciding the value of a piece of literature and their personal availability things get frustrating very quickly. You could have been on chapter 4 already.
- It’s ok to read ahead but only discuss what everyone has read. When reading it can be helpful to underline or take notes on what you want to discuss so you can still add value to the discussion even if a lot of time has passed.
- Bring your calendars to each meeting and confirm the next time you will be meeting in person. It’s ok to skip a week and sometimes it’s better waiting till everyone’s there. Having a small group can afford this flexibility. It’s also ok to read ahead if you’re underlining. If you’re really bored start another club already (remember tip #4)