So, maybe you haven’t read a book since 12th grade English Lit. Or, maybe you’re an avid reader but your friends have no interest in discussing books with you.
Whatever your reason for joining a book club, here are some tips to help you find the right one:
1. Ask around: Do your friends already belong to a book club?
Some book clubs are like secret societies. You don’t know they exist until you investigate.
Ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they belong to a book club. You’ll be surprised at how many do.
Then ask if there’s room for you to join. A book club is a commitment. Often they start strong and then, people drop out. Most likely, your friend’s book club would be more than happy to accept a new member.
2. Start your own book club
About ten years ago, my friend and I were invited to join a book club. Unfortunately, no one talked about the books we read. Instead, the women focused solely on their kids or their handbags, clothes, and any other materialistic item.
Anytime I pay for a babysitter, it’d better be time well spent, and it wasn’t. So, my friend and I quietly left that book club and started our own. At our first meeting, several of our friends requested that we not discuss the ending because they hadn’t gotten to it yet. Whaattt???
So, we established our first rule: you have to read (and finish) the book.
I know many people who aren’t so strict about people actually reading the book but for me, it’s why I’m a part of a book club. If I want to chit chat about anything and everything, I’ll go to dinner.
If your friends aren’t interested in a book club, invite your work colleagues and neighbors, or recruit from your town’s Newcomer’s Club. If you encourage everyone to invite someone, not only will you form a decent sized group, but you’ll have a wider range of readers, from all different stages of life, with different interests.
Diversity brings about the best discussions.
Looking to start your own book club? For more tips, check out my free downloadable tip sheet “How to Set Up a Book Club” at the end of this post!
3. Check with your local library
Many libraries have book clubs in place. Even if your library doesn’t have its own book club, it’s worth asking the librarian who may be able to refer you to an existing book club.
4. Check with your local bookstore
Local bookstores often host book clubs. Big chains, like Barnes & Noble, provide you with a book club discussion booklet and stores around the country all discuss the same book on the same night. This is great if you have family or friends in other states and want to discuss books with them.
If your local bookshop does not have a book club, ask them if they’d be willing to host. They can help to advertise and gauge interest. It’s a win-win for both of you. They get customers and you get book lovers wanting to join.
5. Ask your local college or university
Are you near a local college or university? Many of them host book clubs on campus, open to community members.
6. Check with your church, synagogue, or other organizations
Again, even if they don’t have a book club, they’re probably very willing to spread the word and host one in their space.
7. Search on Meetup
This is one of the best places to find an existing club. Go onto meetup.com and search for local book club discussion groups near you.
A quick search for me brings upcoming talks about some of my favorite books. One group even does a post-book discussion walk.
8. Search Facebook
This is an easy way to find a club.
Simply, put in the words “Book Club” into the search bar and you’ll be surprised about how many book clubs pop up. You’ll even find the My Purse Strings Virtual Book Club.
My local Facebook Groups always provide me with a wealth of information. The next time someone asks about a book recommendation, reply to all asking if someone wants to start a book club. Or pose the question directly in the group.
Not finding a good fit on Facebook? Why not create a status update targeting your local friends asking them if they want to join. You can then create a Facebook Group to organize everyone.
9. Search Nextdoor
Until my recent move, I had no interest in joining Nextdoor. But what’s nice about the site is that you get highly localized information from people in your neighborhood, while most Facebook groups encompass a much larger area.
Go onto Nextdoor and search for existing book clubs or share that you want to start one. Bonus, you’ll get to meet your neighbors!
10. Join a Virtual Book Club
Last but certainly not least, join a Virtual Book Club.
A Virtual Book Club can take many forms:
- Go onto Goodreads and join one there.
- Start a text-chain with your distant friends and relatives. Each month on a given date and time, you chat about the book via text message.
- Create a Facebook Group with friends to chat.
- Join the My Purse Strings Virtual Book Club, which consists of members from around the globe. Way to gain a different perspective~ Every month we choose a different book to discuss. We’ve even had an author come to one of our chats and stay the entire time. When we’re not discussing the book of the month, we’re just chatting about books in general. It’s a really warm community and I hope you join us!
Check out some of our future Virtual Book Club picks and past book club discussions. And, if you’ve already read the book, you can still chat about it anytime:
Moloka’i Virtual Book Club Discussion–the author, Alan Brennert joined us and answered all our questions.
To see our current picks, head on over to our Facebook Group and search through the Events. Remember to RSVP so you can add the event to your calendar and receive a reminder.