Books | Start and run a successful book club

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Book clubs are a great idea but are often short-lived due to a lack of commitment, waning interest and time. So how can you run a successful book club?

Book clubs are a great way to force you to read and spend time with friends, old and new. If you are thinking of setting a book club up on your own, there are some things you need to consider to ensure it runs smoothly and effectively according to seasoned bookworms.

For any club to succeed, participants have to have a genuine interest in reading. Your good friend may love magazines and be good fun but that should not mean they qualify. Consider friends and acquaintances carefully.

Time and location are important. Many people may not want a group of people descending upon their home so consider neutral venues such as cafes or hotels. In a bid to lure customers, many pubs also offer reserved areas for book clubs. Send a selection of dates to suit everyone’s timetable. Everyone won’t be able to attend every month but if you organise it in advance, it makes it easier for people to mark it in their diary.

A lot happens in one month. As such, a book club can often turn into more of a social outing as you discuss all that is happening in each other’s life. Many book clubs set a time to meet, allowing for 30 minutes of gossip and cake before the book discussion takes place.

Try to get everyone to agree that they should completely and carefully read the selection before the meeting. Everyone, in turn, can be on the same page and properly discuss the book. Otherwise, it becomes a ‘has’ and ‘has not’ group with some becoming apathetic about it all.

As with all group discussions, one person can often take the lead and dominant. Someone needs to start but also allow everyone their input. Keep it social and fun, but on topic.