I was able to establish a book club almost 12 years ago. That book club fell apart for a mirade of reasons but we reestablished another one, smaller but mightier! If you know me at all, you know how much I love to read. I read non-fiction and fiction alike. And reading a book with friends always improves my enjoyment as well as education since we all get something different from books. We approach books from our experience, which is different for everyone.
What I love about book clubs is that it gives women in their 40s a chance to get together for a purpose. We chat about our lives throughout the month and discuss the themes of the book. Making time to cultivate our close friendships becomes so important as we enter our 40s.
We get to choose our friends and not be thrust into situations where we meet people simply because our kids are there. Choose book club members wisely because we are the sum of the people we hang out with. That’s why I’m such an advocate of starting a book club as a way to meet and hang out with smart people.
My formula for a great book club is one where everyone participates in choosing books, themes, menu and location. Ideally, you don’t want less than 4 members and no more than 12. Here is how to get started creating a healthy book club:
Ideas to Establish a Book Club
- Start with yourself and 3 friends. Ask each of your friends to invite 2 friends to join the first book club. At the first book club let the potential members know what the expectations are to join and choose a great book to start you off.
- Plan to get together once a month. Sunday evenings are usually a great time when there is not a lot going on.
- Host at members’ homes. And rotate who hosts so that it is equal among all members. It is a good idea for one person to be in charge of the list (usually that is me, among my crew).
The host is responsible for the book discussion. There are a ton of websites to find questions for a specific book or you can find general book club discussion questions online as well.
The host for the upcoming month chooses the book at the end of the current month’s book club meeting. The number of members you have will determine how many times each person hosts during the year.
As far as food goes, there are a few options that we have tried and all worked well:
The hostess prepares the entire meal and guests bring a drink of choice.
The hostess prepares the entree and everyone decides on what to bring: a side, appetizer or dessert.
And of course, wine!
At the end of the evening, the next host lets everyone know the book for the upcoming month. Everyone will then have a whole month to read the choosen book for next month’s book club.
It might sound like a lot of work, but once it gets underway, it’s easy and a fun way to connect with other women in your community. Since I am a digital nomad, I am able to zoom in with my friends from home and talk about the book. It has really help me stay connected to my important female relationships. I even met one of the authors we read, Prissy Elrod, on my cross country venture.
Ready to start a book club but need some ideas for books? I got you! Since I have been in a book club for over a decade I have read A LOT of books. Check out some of our newest book club’s book list for your reading pleasure.