See How Easily You Can Start and Maintain A Book Club

Do you love to read for pleasure but have a hard time finding time to do so?

I’ve found that the key to keeping this hobby in the forefront is membership in a book club.  Especially since I started blogging, it’s easy to get caught up in reading blogs only.  My RLR membership ensures I read at least 1 book every 6 weeks.

See How Easily You Can Start and Maintain A Book Club - Rx Fitness Lady

My mother wants to start her own book club so this post is for her.  I hope that my readers can find it useful or add to the discussion as well.

***For the purpose of this post, the examples will be based on how my RLR club operates***

 

PLAN A MIXER

  • Decide on what demographic target you wish to have for members (age, gender, intellect, etc.)
  • Come up with general guidelines (i.e. meet every 6 weeks on a book & at a restaurant of the hostess’s choice)
  • Hand Select with personal phone calls OR Make a flyer, email, Facebook group, etc. & INVITE PEOPLE – friends, family, organizational newsletters, church groups, civic groups, newspapers ads, etc.
  • Host at home if comfortable & public place if strangers will be invited (restaurant, library, clubhouse, church etc.)

 

MIXER

  • Introductions – Name, what kind of books they like, etc.
  • Have a “Get to know you” Icebreaker
  • Name the club (you may want to wait till you read a book to fill out the personalities of the membership)
  • Establish guidelines by either preparing a pre planned ballot or just vote by a show of hands
    • Membership cap (20)
    • Frequency of meetings (every 6 weeks)
    • Where you will meet (restaurant of hostess’s choice)
    • Best time to meets (Sunday evening)
    • How you will select a book (host choose)
    • Dues amount for birthdays, condolences, congratulations, refreshments, etc.  Or if you will even have dues (we don’t’ have dues)
    • Host rotation & how far in advance they select the book; alphabetical, volunteer, pull straws (volunteer & must have book selection at the meeting prior)
    • Primary communication source; group text, group email, Facebook group, group me, etc. (group me)
    • Rescheduling guidelines (If needed, we defer 2 weeks, life happens)
    • Officers; President, corresponding secretary, treasurer, etc. (We only have a Founder…yours truly 🙂 ***The sole function of the ENTIRE book club rotates with each hostesses***)
    • Meeting format; mingle, questions, freestyle, moderator (we let the host approach it from whatever angle they choose)

 

TIPS FOR SUCCESS & OPTIONS

See How Easily You Can Start and Maintain A Book Club - Rx Fitness Lady

  • Have holiday parties
  • Attend book club conventions
  • Recognize birthdays
  • Have book club anniversary parties/celebrations
  • Have annual awards for the previous year’s reading material
  • Take a break from reading once a year & have an annual meeting to assess the functioning of the club
  • Make reminder magnets with meeting dates
  • Consider doing an outreach project that is literacy based

 

RULE OF THUMB – Please make every effort to READ THE BOOK, after all, it’s a book club 😉

 

MEETING ETIQUETTE

  • Don’t call people out or ask the question “Did you read the book”, remember this is at the bottom of people’s priority list.  They may want to support even if they were too busy to read this period.
  • Come to the meetings!
  • If you can’t come, let the group know in advance and give a reason.

 

AUTHOR ETIQUETTE

  • Invite them at least 6 weeks ahead of time
  • Ask them if they have any special requirements for attending meetings & try to accommodate them
  • Let them choose the restaurant
  • Take up a donation (love offering)
  • Pay for their food
  • It would be nice to purchase some of their other material if you liked their work
  • Tweet, FB, IG, Pinterest their work and show love!

 

TIPS FOR THE HOSTESS

  • Send reminders coming up to the meeting
  • Make sure book is available locally or tip members where they can find it
  • Plan meeting format ahead of time so there are no dull spots
  • Try not to let any members dominate discussion
  • Consider bringing prizes or doing an activity that goes along with the novel

 

TOOLES

  • GOODREADS
    • Keep up with reading wish list
    • Decide what’s next
    • See what friends think about reading material
    • Trivia/quizzes/ good questions
  • FACEBOOK GROUPS
    • Stimulate discussion before and after book club meeting
    • Members can friend each other and get to know each other
    • Share book covers to announce new books that will be read
  • BLOGS AND FORUMS CAN ALSO BE USEFUL FOR CLUBS

 

I hope you found this useful!

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Rx Fitness Lady wants to know…

 

  • What is the last book you read? What are you reading currently? What’s your preference; books or blogs?
  • Do you have anything to share based on your own book club membership?
  • What authors have you met in real life?
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Rx Fitness Lady

Greetings, I'm Joi, a Pharmacist with a passion for fitness & a community leader. I teach BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Tabata Boot Camp, & serve as a mentor to young girls. My goal is to inspire people to live healthy, active, & prosperous lifestyles through practical blog posts deliveries. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. You can view more post and subscribe to stay tuned to latest updates at Rx Fitness Lady.

48 thoughts on “See How Easily You Can Start and Maintain A Book Club

  1. I as a part of about two book clubs and they both fell through because no one had the time. I have not joined any of them but I do love to read but I know I would not have the time to dedicate to it. Love your tips and having a fb group is so much better. I just started one for my magazine
    Kita recently posted…Sickly kidsMy Profile

    • Easy communication is key to this fast paced life. I was a member of 2 that fell through as well before. That’s why I kinda based the one I founded off of the best parts of the old two. We have been hanging in there for 2 + years now, but easy maintenance has been the key for sure! People are SOOO busy!

  2. Great tips – pinned it because I think this would be a fun thing to do!
    I love to read – blogs and books. Lately, the only time I read is at night when I go to bed and I usually only make it through a couple of pages – the last book I read took over a month. During the summer (thanks to my beach/sun obsession) I usually read several books a week.
    Kim recently posted…Texas FunMy Profile

    • I know that feeling Kim! I used to get a lot of reading done at the hair salon, but they are wireless, so once I started blogging, I used the time to catch up on whatever is going on that day!

      Thank you for the pin!

  3. Some of my in-laws and I tried to form a book club but we were gonna do it virtually because we live all over the place…not the same. I enjoy reading books when I have a couple of hours to indulge, but I also like magazine articles because they’re short and doesn’t take too much time. I’ve met one of my favorite author Les Brown IRL. I met a couple others at book signing, but Les was most recognized (thus the mention).
    I would love to be a part of a book club though…mostly for the discussion and fellowship.
    Hope recently posted…My Top Three Christian Running BeatsMy Profile

    • I love the discussion and fellowship. It’s just like all the talk on Victor Newman/Y&R and all the terribly staged reality TV shows. The books are more relatable though. I am a creative junkie. I get lost in plenty of scripted TV shows, but I am a sucker for a good book. It was my love as a child & I’ve desperately tried to stay with it, thus this 3rd and final book club membership. I founded this one, I’m determined to keep it going!

  4. I’ve thought about joining a book club but never have. I read a lot of books, so I have no excuse. I just have to find like-minded people who are interested and available to participate. Perhaps I need to start a group.

    The only author I can remember meeting fairly recently was Rachel Manley, the daughter of the former Prime Minister of Jamaica Michael Manley. I went to a reading/presentation of her book about four years ago.
    Alison recently posted…Ask Away Friday with Mrs. Tee: Love, Life, and LaughterMy Profile

    • Whelp Alison, I’ve given you my “get started” guide if you are truly interested. I value my book club membership so much. A lot of things require structure for me and reading has become one of those things in the fast pace of church, pharmacy, fitness, blogging, social life, etc! The club keeps me focused! Awesome meeting such a noted author! We have been blessed to have 3 authors attend our meetings in the 2 years we’ve been established. I love picking their brains and they are quite inspiring telling their stories of dedication to writing. We can all relate as bloggers to how much time they spend writing material.

  5. I’ve been invited to join book clubs before and I probably will once the kids are out of the house, but right now it’s hard to find the time. I think it’s a really cool concept though and I love to read. But my ladies night out with my birthday girls and my kids’ sports take top priority right now.
    Michelle recently posted…Meandering Mondays 15 {Link Party}My Profile

    • Understandable Michelle. That is essentially what happened to the first club I was in. We had AMAZING chemistry as a group, I mean..I really loved our meetings. They started getting married and having babies and priorities just changed. We would have been fine to just keep it a fellowship club but I guess that just seemed wrong, it didn’t work out! I miss them for sure!

  6. I’ve been wanting to start a book club like forever, but didn’t know exactly where to start. These are some GREAT pointers and guidelines Joi, thanks! The last book(s) I’ve read are “Radical” and “Dream Big”. I’m good for reading several books at a time and never finishing them, but yet going on to read more books…go figure! My husband can read five at a time and finish them all(on top of his Bible studying) *show off*…he makes me sick, lol! 🙂 I downloaded some more books on my tablet and am about to start on “Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist”. It should be an interesting read…let’s see how this goes.:-) Btw…I can totally see you side-eying the member who’s “taking over” the discussion, bahaha! 😀
    Michell recently posted…Mastering YOU Monday…time for a check-up ladies!My Profile

    • Sometimes, it’s me, lol! I have to watch that 🙂 The only way I don’t finish is if I’m forcing it. When I start, I usually like to finish but if it’s a snooze, I’ll end up leaving it hanging!

  7. I met Jodi Picoult in real life at a signing. She was super nice! I prefer blogs lately, but books have always been my love. I’m currently reading “Beautiful Day” by Elin Hilderbrand. It’s a bit sad so far, but I hope it gets a little more meaty soon!
    Tamara recently posted…The Words Crawl In.My Profile

  8. Yes, yes and yes! I’m in a book club called Novel Eats and with each book, the host will pick an ingredient that each guest will put into whatever dish they bring. Last month it was reading “And the Mountains Echoed” with the ingredient of olive oil. The dish doesn’t have to be fancy and the host doesn’t have to make a thing!! I love your tip of not calling people out. Seriously!!!
    Allie recently posted…VITA Does VegasMy Profile

    • Wow Allie, your club sounds very interesting! Getting called out is not fun, well not fun to watch…I always read 😉 !

  9. YES! This was super helpful. I’ve been in a couple book clubs that have fizzled out but maybe I will try and start my own. Right now I’m reading a bunch of text books about brand identity because I’m finally launching a webstore for my blog and I need to make it pretty 😉
    Kristiina recently posted…{Mani Monday} Dan-De-Lion by Flower BeautyMy Profile

    • Oh the fizzle, I’m very familiar with it! Hope this guide helps someone. Congrats on the new site. I can’t wait to check it out!

  10. This is so awesome! I do get caught up in reading just blogs and don’t make enough time for reading. I just finished reading Bethany Frankels new book and I’m getting ready to start another book. I will say that if I truly love a book, I will stay up all night and read it.

    This does make me want to start a book club. Perhaps after all my house stuff is done.
    Carla recently posted…Hemp Hearts for HealthMy Profile

    • They are really convenient for me Carli! I have stayed up plenty of nights trying to get through a book. I get so engrossed!

  11. i formed a book club with a core group of 6 girls and we’ve been going strong for 7 years. i think what makes it successful is that it’s small. we plan around everyone’s schedule so that everyone is able to make it. and the small size makes everyone accountable for reading the book. if you don’t read the book, then it kinda sucks to have 5 other people have an engrossing conversation while you sit there, staring blankly at your meal. one of the girls declared once, “i’m never NOT going to read the book ever again. this sucks because you’re all excited talking about it and i’m left out.”
    catherine gacad recently posted…Thoughts on the Government ShutdownMy Profile

    • Yeah I always feel bad for ppl that didn’t finish or don’t read, but I still always want them there for the fellowship that occurs after the discussion.

  12. I’ve definitely been one of those to THINK “Did you read the book?” but I didn’t say it out loud. It didn’t make sense to me. But then I was the person who read the book and never answered any questions. I was part of a book club when we lived in Florida. It was a good way to meet people. I’ve always wanted to start one but I don’t have it in me to start one. I wish I could just go to your moms. I’ve been listening to audiobooks because it allows me to multitask. So the last book I listened to was Now You See Her by James Patterson. My genre pallete is very diverse. I can read just about anything if it starts off good. Okay well I don’t read horror, vampirey or Harry Potterish stuff. I am currently reading The Meltdown book that some many of the bloggers I read have contributed to.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…“Mom are you famous?My Profile

    • Lol at you identifying with my Mothers club over mine 🙂 I remember before you listen to audio, I’ve got to give it a genuine try. I played around a bit on my iPad with the audio option, but I’d like to try Assn actual audio book. I’m a sucker for multitasking.

    • Defunct or not, it’s easy to fall off. I’ve had two clubs I was a member of that fell apart. Determined to last this time though. I’ll check the email.

  13. These tips are so perfect!! I used to run a book club with the same girl that said my life was too perfect (remember that post?! It’s okay if you don’t :)) This is the perfect framework. We picked the books–the time and place–and gave folks more than enough time to read it. We totally named the club before we had members!! haha
    Nellie recently posted…Conversations On The TrainMy Profile

    • The last club I was in, the founder named the club before & none of us could ever pronounce it, lol. Hope y’all didn’t do that!

    • I hear that so often…life got in the way! I tried to avoid that happening to our club but it’s tough. These guidelines provide a K.I.S.S. phenomenon that hopefully helps prevent endings.

  14. I used to belong to a book club years ago and loved it. I loved the discussions and I loved being exposed to books that I might not normally read. Maybe when I feel I have a bit more time to read, I’ll join one again (or start one up!!)!
    Leah Davidson recently posted…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • That’s the only way I manage to make time for it these days! So many other things seem to be higher on the priority list, but I love it so much that I value this club tremendously!

    • Always good to form clubs with like minded people. Would you limit the material to christian fiction and help books?

  15. There are so many options these days with book clubs. Wow. I think you and I talked about the one I started about…8 or 9 years ago…whew that long ago. I took the lead on everything in the beginning. That was time consuming. I chose the books to vote on, I put the discussion questions together, I managed the E-vites and e-mails used to communicate. That was prior to facebook, etc.

    When I forced myself to let go and have whomever was hosting the next monthly meeting choose the next book, it was a big relief. It also opened up the group to more possibilities. In terms of electing officers and doing an event outside of the norm, that sounds a lot like the Pokeno Club that my mother used to belong to. My grandmother still belongs to one. It is a huge deal every month to see who can outdo the other with a meal at their home. Playing Pokeno is really secondary. LOL. They go to a restaurant in December normally with the dues they collected during the year and just hang out.

    I am currently reading The 9th Judgment by James Patterson. Before that was his book, The 8th Confession. I love his Women’s Murder Club series. They are the only ones of his that I’ve read. I read more blogs these days than books, but I enjoy both.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted…I’ve Got Sunshine (In My Temptations Voice)My Profile

    • Everything is MUCH easier now! That was making me tired just thinking about the good old days, lol!

      Can’t wait to suggest your book to the next host!

  16. Thank you my darling. You have given me everything I need to get my book club started. I have been talking about it for some time now. The time has come!

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