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How to Start a Book Club

Use these tips to form the book club you’ve always dreamed of.


  • Step 1: Decide what kind of book club Decide what kind of book club you'd like. Your love for types of books, whether fiction, nonfiction, genre fiction, or others, should help guide you.
  • Step 2: Recruit members Think about how many people you would like to include. The number of members will determine the meeting place. If you meet in someone’s home, more than six or eight people will be crowded, but too few people will make for a shallow discussion.
  • TIP: Recruiting friends and coworkers rather than strangers decreases the likelihood of no-shows.
  • Step 3: Ask for book suggestions Ask for book suggestions from your members. Choose one title from each member’s choices, or let everyone vote.
  • Step 4: Set the guidelines at the first meeting Set guidelines at the first meeting. Lead your group to decide how often you’ll meet, determine starting and ending times, and designate a discussion leader.
  • Step 5: Set a pace Set a pace at which to read the book so that everyone is reading at the same speed. This avoids spoilers.
  • TIP: Chapter books make it easy to determine where to start and stop.
  • Step 6: List questions Make a list of discussion topics, such as, "What literary character would you like to have dinner with?" Or "What was your favorite childhood book?"
  • Step 7: Respect each other See that everyone’s views are respected. By helping the other members feel comfortable to express their opinions; you’ll help yourself create a book club that’s sure to be successful.
  • FACT: Did you know? The term best seller was first used in a newspaper -- The Kansas Times and Star -- in 1889.

You Will Need

  • Members
  • A meeting place
  • Guidelines
  • A leader
  • A list of discussion topics
  • Mutual respect

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