By Maria-Nefeli Andredaki,
The Fall semester is here and has found many of us in dire need of everything cozy, pumpkin-spicy, and warm. While the leaves are slowly readying themselves to change color, I introduced to my university friends the idea of starting our very own book club, partly as an excuse to read more and partly because I missed bonding over books and nerdy things with people who appreciate them as much as I do. So, without further ado, here is a list of steps you can follow, to organize your little haven of reading and sharing stories:
1. Find members
This is probably the most important part of creating a book club since the whole point of it is building a safe space to share your opinions and bond over books. A good start could be one of the many group chats we are all part of but never actually use to communicate. Drop the idea by sending a message and see the chat come to life. Careful though, don’t try to pressure anyone into joining, as it would defeat the purpose of creating a welcoming, positive space for reading and bonding. And it doesn’t matter if someone’s not a reader, give them a chance and they might love it!
2. Decide on books
Now this heavily relies on the first step, as the books depend on the members of the club. To be a bit more organized and avoid confusion, a good tip would be to plan the books you will read for however long you want the club to last. Each member could pick their book so that you can have a diversity of reads based on everyone’s interests or you can unanimously decide on specific titles, genres, and authors and take it from there. There is no right or wrong way of doing this as long as everyone is satisfied and excited with what they are going to be reading.
3. Place and time
Meeting as a group will probably be the trickiest in maintaining a book club, considering our different schedules, including university courses, work, studying, and other interests. Don’t hesitate to hold your meetings through video-calls, zoom, or other platforms when meeting in person is difficult. Also try to be realistic with the number of meetings you are planning to have, considering that all members need to have enough time to finish or read most of the book. My suggestion would be once a month/ every five weeks so that you can accommodate everyone.
4. Details and things to consider
Book clubs are supposed to be fun and engaging, so you need to ensure that everyone’s needs and interests are considered. It is important that before deciding on books, each member is aware of the themes and trigger warnings they contain so that the group can make informed decisions. In addition to that, a good idea would be if one person was appointed as the “secretary” of the club, someone who takes down important comments and opinions, keeps track of the books, discussions, and meetings taking place, etc.
I hope that this small guide will inspire you to embark on this journey of shared reading. It is honestly magical to experience all these different fictional worlds; why not make it even better by inviting your friends along?
- Book club definition. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Available here
- Lombardi, E. What Is a Book Club and How Does It Work? Thoughtco. Available here