Alright, fellow bookworms, the big question is: How to start a book club? And we’ve got the answers neatly organized and laid out for a smooth sailing ride down the book coast.
Learning how to start a book club can feel incredibly daunting at first, and that may be because you’re thinking of every step all at once. That would be very overwhelming!
The last thing we want is for you to feel overwhelmed, because book clubs have a lot of fun and inspiring potential, so we’re going to guide you through these 6 simple steps; plus, we’ve even created a downloadable How to Start a Book Club checklist for you.
From fun book club activity ideas to book club question discussions, we’ve got your back in learning how to start a book club that your bookish friends will be super excited about.
Let’s turn this page, already!
In this article
How to Start a Book Club Steps 1 – 6
When we’re searching for how to do something, such as how to start a book club, we may be pleaded by a shorter list of steps because we want to know now and fast. But with something like a book club, we believe you want a thicker to-do list because it’s a special thing when you explore your options in how to start a book club.
Learning how to start a book club isn’t extremely challenging; we totally believe in you, but it can become overwhelming if you don’t take things step by step. This is why we have 6 clear and easy steps we’re going to guide you through so you can start this book club and be the best book club host ever.
We’re going beyond the simplicities of what snacks you should provide for your book club; we’ve got details that may not have even been on your radar!
Remember to download our completely free How to Start a Book Club checklist so you can have an easy-breezing time when you’re in focus mode. You’re going to do GREAT!
Step One: Book Club Name & Slogan
Every book club needs a name! And perhaps it’s a little “extra” to have a book club slogan, but hey, we think it’s just extra fun.
Choosing a book club name is an incredibly fun task, and it can either be made solely by you or you can brainstorm names as a group during your first meeting or group chat session.
Once you choose a name, you can make a Facebook group or group chat with the book club name, and make your own DIY bookmarks with fun bookish quotes or quotes you find along the way in the books you’ll read.
Now for the slogan; we’ve all heard iconic slogans like Disney’s “The happiest place on Earth”; we remember it and associate those words with that place. Creating a slogan for your book club can be super fun; try not to overthink it!
Here are a few book club slogan ideas to get your creative gears rocking:
- “Bookish baddies reading stories”
- “Books are better than people”
- “Where the books are plenty & there’s crazy company”
- “Good books & better looks”
- “Friends forever, reading together”
Need some assistance with book club names? We’ll teach you how to start a book club and cute book club names!
Step Two: How to Start a Book Club with Members
You could have a book club with just you and your stuffed animals, but the discussion questions might get a little quiet. A book club with members makes for a valuable and fun bookworm experience!
If you’re wanting to start a book club with friends or family members, we suggest first writing out a list of people you’d like to invite and checking over that list once or twice.
You may want to think about if you’d like to have a small, medium, or large book club. If this is your first book club, we may suggest starting small, and you can always grow your members!
If you’re trying to start a book club that includes bookworms you don’t know yet, (trying to make new bookish friends), you may want to check out Facebook groups that are focused on reading in particular genres you’re interested in, and the same for Good Reads. Or, you can explore through Instagram and check out different hashtags that are book related and see if there are some other readers who may be interested in joining a book club.
Creating a post on your own social media pages may do the trick as well! But you’ll want to be careful that you don’t overextend yourself by inviting too many people into your book club.
Once you’ve created your list of potential group members, reach out to each one with a simple message that lays out your book club aspirations and intentions. Be inviting, and exciting, but leave room for the person to answer honestly. You don’t want to come off as pushy. After they’ve had some time to think about it, you can confirm if their answer is yes or no so you can track who is a member and who’s not.
Here’s an example message of a friendly invite to a new book club (Feel free to use & customize!):
“Hey there, fellow bookworm! I decided to create a book club (because, books, am I right?), and when I was thinking about who I’d love to discuss books with and get giddy over characters, I thought of you. Right now, I’m in the early stages of organizing, but if you’d like to be a part of this easy-going book club, please do let me know!”
Step Three: Layout Member’s Reading Boundaries
What exactly are reading boundaries? Something that’s been brought more into the light in recent years, whether it be books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, or even TikTok videos, is presenting the consumer with trigger warnings before the content begins. And in the list of things you’d like to checkmark when you’re beginning how to start a book club, this is a vital step that will set your book club apart in the most positive way.
Why do content creators, authors, and directors do this? It’s a curtsey to the consumer, because everyone has different pasts, triggers, and traumas, or perhaps things they are just not comfortable with.
Before opening the gates of choosing a book club book, it’s important to understand if anyone in the group has any triggers or things they’re uncomfortable with reading. This will not only make everyone feel heard and safe in this new space, but you could also discover things you may have in common with someone else in the group and therefore support one another.
Step Four: How to Choose a Book & Who’s Picking
Alright, you’ve got your confirmed members, and their reading boundaries have been voiced; now, what are y’all gonna read? This is probably the first thing you think of when you’re pondering how to start a book club, so let’s get to it.
Some book clubs have a turn system where each member gets their turn to choose a book. Others will follow the lead of larger book clubs such as Reese’s Book Club. It’s important to have this discussed as a group and to make a unanimous decision.
When deciding on a book, take into consideration the genres the group likes and respect the reading boundaries your group members have voiced. This should be able to be seen by typing into Google: [Book Title] trigger warning.
Step Five: Book Club HQ & Meeting Frequency
You’re well on your way to learning how to start a book club that’s awesome, you’ve got your members, and almost a book, but now you’ve got to decide where HQ is going to be and how often you’d like to meet. Easy-peasy!
As far as meeting frequency goes, this is definitely a group preference. You could either meet every 5 chapters and have discussions, have a meeting once everyone has reached halfway, or gather once everyone has finished the book. Even a makeshift version you’ve created yourself!
Just be sure that you’re flexible with everyone’s schedules, so everyone feels included.
Now, onto book club HQ, we’ve got some ideas for you!
- Your living room/Den
- Finished comfy basement
- Local coffee shop
- Another book club member’s house
- Rotating book club member’s houses
- Local cafe/restaurant
- A meeting room at the local library
- Picnic at the park
A fun book club idea for you all to collaborate on during your first meeting or group chat is to brainstorm a list of your own book club HQ ideas!
You can jazz up your book club HQ with these adorable and quirky 200 Brilliant Letter Board Quotes For Readers! You’re doing such a terrific job so far in exploring how to start a book club; we’re almost to the end.
Step Six: Book Club Questions & Reading Timelines
And now, the final step of how to start a book club so you can get to the good part, reading! Deciding on reading timelines for your book club book and potential book club questions.
When you’re choosing a pace for the book club to go at, you’ll want to have this as an open discussion with everyone in the group. Get an honest answer from everyone and try to meet in the middle. Remember that some people have busy lives or they aren’t fast readers, and choosing a fast book pace can turn them away from the book club group. We don’t want that! And there’s no shame in taking your time with reading; that’s what we do!
For book club questions, you can either do a little research and see if there are questions already written (for some books, they’re even in the very back!) or you/willing book club members, can write your own discussion questions during the duration of the book.
Why look at you and all your strapping knowledge about how to start a book club; you’re quite the keen bookworm!
That was a lot of info to digest and think about; we completely understand. Please download the free How to Start a Book Club checklist so you can check every task off with ease and confidence.
We believe in you!
Every book club is unique in its own design, but the core of it is having a genuine love for literature and inspiring words from books. So have fun with your group and embrace the bookish adventure. May the pages and plot twists be in your favor!