Start a Fun and Social Book Club - Friends and Fun
Read a Variety of Books - Even Those Written by Your Book Club Members
Build Friendships around Your Love of Reading
Do you love to read? Do you enjoy discussing books with your friends? One of the best ways to develop friendships and create lifelong bonds with other people is to find a common interest. If you are a reader, one fun way to expand your circle of friends and find kindred spirits, is to start a book club.
Forming a book club is simple, and casual. You do not need officers. You do not need rules. There is no need for articles of incorporation. You simply need to find a few other people who share your interest in books, and pick a time to meet.
I have belonged to a book club for over a decade. Although we only meet every other month, and only occasionally see each other between meetings, the women in our club have become very close. We have seen each other go through cancer treatments and other illnesses. We have encouraged each other when members have had to deal with a variety of personal issues.
When we read a book, we frequently learn more about each other as we discuss it. A book club can help you grow closer to your friends than you ever imagined possible.
Find Other Readers
What if you do not know many other people who enjoy books as much as you do? Do not give up your idea of starting a book club. You may be on the verge of discovering a whole new group of friends to enrich your life.
First, ask a few friends if they would be interested. Then, let them know that they are welcome to invite others to join your group, too.
Next, put up a notice at your church. Mention it at work or a PTA meeting. You may be able to put up a flyer at a local bookstore or public library. In fact, your group may even be able to meet at the library or bookstore, at least while you are all getting to know each other.
All you need is four or five people to get started. It shouldn't take very much effort to find that many people who would like to join your book club.
Decide What Types of Books You Want to Read
Once you have found a few people to be in your book club, your group needs to get together and decide what types of books you would enjoy reading.
You may want to have a club that specializes in mysteries, science fiction, romance novels, or religious books. If you have a group who loves to cook, you could even focus on something completely different, such as cookbooks.
I belong to a book club that reads very diverse literature. We have read war novels, and true war stories. We have read light-hearted romances, and thought-provoking biographies of famous people. We have read books that made us laugh, and books that brought us near tears. Your group needs to decide what types of books it wants to read, too.
Make a Plan, Pick a Book, and Get Started
Now that you have a few book club members, and you know what kinds of books you want to read, it is time to get started. Here are a few suggestions for getting organized:
Decide when, where and how often you will meet. (Our group only meets every other month, so we don't feel rushed when reading our books.)
Exchange email addresses so you can contact each other if there is a change in plans. I actually serve as an informal secretary, sending out an email a few weeks before each meeting as a reminder.
Serve food. Make your meetings relaxed. We often have potluck dinners at our meetings. However, even serving desserts, snacks or a little wine can be a nice treat once in a while.
Don't get too caught up in the details. There are times when we barely even talk about the book. Our group has been getting together for nearly 10 years. We have had members go through divorce, cancer, the death of loved ones, the weddings of children, the birth of grandchildren and so much more. We talk about these things, as well as the books we have read. If we only spend 10 - 15 minutes discussing the book, that is fine with us. These meetings have brought us all close together, and the discussions have been a way for us to learn so much more about each other. No one minds if we stray off topic.
Do not worry if some people do not read the book! Yes, I know it is a book club. But your purpose is also to make friends and be social. We have members of our club who rarely read the book. Sometimes they listen to it on tape. On other occasions, they just listen to the rest of us discuss it. That is perfectly okay with the rest of us. We are all very fond of each other, and just enjoy the regular commitment that assures that we will get together often. I actually love the fact that I do not feel pressure to read a book that doesn't interest me.
Enjoy your bookclub and your new friends. Consider it a journey, with no particular destination in mind!