Milk and Honey Magazine's list to starting a book club with your friends! Find a book you love, host a book club party, and have fun!

Starting A Book Club?!

Sara Ward

With so much of the world distracted by Netflix, social media, and the Internet, it can be hard to see the appeal of sitting down with a good old-fashioned book. We have become a society obsessed with getting everything done fast, and because reading can take up a lot of time, it’s not always easy to stop and devote time to it.

That being said, reading is still a worthwhile and beneficial activity, and it can help us learn so much about the world and ourselves. A great way to get into reading regularly is participating in a book club. As a book club member, you can make reading a priority and get together with other people who are passionate about reading.

If you can’t seem to find a good book club in your area, start your own! Starting your own book club may seem like a huge and overwhelming task, but with these easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to hosting one and bringing reading back into your life.

1. Decide: online or in-person club?

Hosting a book club at your house or at a library or coffee shop is fun, but you can have just as great of an experience online. Figure out what you would be most comfortable with.

Think about what you want to get out of it. Are you looking for a more personal experience so you can get together with friends? Then you may want to have an in-person book club and meet up in a public place.

On the other hand, since everyone has busy schedules these days, “meeting” online may be a better fit. You can put together a book club through e-mail, a Facebook group, or even a blog. This will be more relaxed, since people can update the group at any time instead of waiting for a specific time or location.

2. Reach out and find people

Another important part of a book club is, of course, the people! Trying to find people who have the same interests can sometimes be a challenge, but there are good ways to find potential book club members.

Social media can be a huge tool in this aspect. As an avid book reader myself, I have found so many book-centered Instagram accounts filled with people who are passionate about reading. Think about creating a post on your social media accounts with book-focused hashtags. You’ll be able to get your message across to a wide variety of people, and connect with a lot of people at once.

3. Decide on a schedule

The next thing you need to do is decide on a schedule for your book club. If you’re hosting an in-person book club, you will need to reach out to everyone involved and find out what works best with all of the members’ schedules. Whether that’s every couple of weeks, every month, or every two months, having a regular schedule for your book club meetings is helpful in order to keep things organized.

You will also need to decide on a schedule for the actual reading. Everyone reads at a different pace, so there might need to be a discussion between members on how much you will be reading between each meeting. Depending on how often your meetings are, reading a chapter between meetings could be a good place to start.

4. Consider themes

While it’s totally possible to have a book club with random book selections, having a theme could be exciting as well. Find out if there are common favorite book genres between the members, whether that includes romance, mystery or self-help. If book members are reading genres that they’re really interested in, it will make the whole experience better.

It would also be fun to have book choices based on holidays or what’s going on during the year. For example, your book club could choose a science fiction novel during the month of October or pick out a romance during the month of February. You can make your book club as creative as you want, and working with themes is a great way to add in a little creativity.

5. Pick out your first book

Picking out a book for a book club, especially in the beginning, isn’t an easy task. Start off by letting book members write down a few books that they’ve been interested in reading. You may find that they have written down some of the same books, which makes the decision process much easier.

An excellent resource for book research is Goodreads. This website allows users to track books that they’re reading, along with books they’ve read and want to read. It contains billions of book summaries and reviews, and even gives readers personal recommendation lists based on what they’ve read so far. This is an amazing website to use if you’re looking for a book to read, and it can be a valuable tool for your book club.

Here’s a list of empowering books that would make great options for a book club:

I hope that these steps have been useful, and that you may consider starting a book club in the future. I have made it a priority to read every day, and having that relaxing half hour has made such a difference in my life. I know you won’t regret taking on that kind of challenge in your own lives. Happy reading!

*photo via Eliston Button