How to Start a Book Club in 7 Steps

Do you know that feeling when you finish a specific book, and you’re dying to discuss it with someone? Sometimes, the plot is too exciting to enjoy alone, and some other times, you want to discuss your own theories of the book. Book clubs are the best way to gather people with mutual interests and have fun discussions.
Between different opinions, screams of excitement, and sharing incredible books, such clubs are quite the enjoyment. Here's a detailed guide if you want to start a book club but don’t know where to start.

Step 1: Write Your Invitees List

The first thing you should decide is who you’ll invite to your club. This is the most vital decision because it’ll determine everything else, including what books you’ll read, where you’ll meet, and how you’ll communicate with each other. After that, all the other aspects will follow.
You can have your club as big as you want, or you can settle on your close two or three friends and have a small club. That said, with book clubs, the bigger, the better, because you get to hear all kinds of different opinions.

Step 2: Determine the Goal of Your Book Club

Different book clubs have different goals. For example, you may create your book club to discuss specific books. Other people may create clubs to learn new skills or do reading-related activities.
Some people even do it only for the sake of bonding with each other and meeting new people. When you determine the goal of your book club, you have a much clearer view of the people you’ll invite and how each session will go.
You should also think of the theme of your book club. Some book clubs have special holidays as their themes, so they celebrate the books that come out at this time. Other clubs have a cooking theme, so they only discuss cooking books and similar ideas.

Step 3: Determine a Communication Means

When starting your book club, you need to decide how the members will meet. Will you have a group chat and communicate online? Or is it better to have the meetings in person? With the current Covid situation, many people resort to having these kinds of activities online.
Holding the meetings online also may encourage more people to join. A lot of people are introverts or have social anxiety. When the meetings are online, they’ll be much more comfortable with joining.
If you want to meet the club members, you can have the meetings in public places, so people who don’t know each other are comfortable. You can choose a library or a park. If you’re only meeting your friends, you can have the meeting at one of your houses.

Step 4: Decide a Meeting Time

Having a monthly or a weekly date for your book club is better because all of the members will be committed to it. That way, you don’t have to go through the hassle of choosing a new date each time.
When you have a lot of members, choosing a suitable day becomes even more challenging because they all have their own busy lives. It’s better to fix a day in each week or month. If your members are busy, you can have monthly meetings, so they have enough time to read the books.

Step 5: Figure out a Way to Choose Books

The way you choose your books can make all the difference in the members’ experience. If you choose them on your own and rule out all the other options, there’s a high chance your members won’t be so happy.
Book club dictators aren’t fun! The best approach when choosing your book is to take suggestions. When making the final choice, you should consider these aspects:
  • The book’s length
  • The topic
  • The price
  • Online availability
  • Your members
You need to be mindful of your members when choosing a book because you don’t want anyone to be embarrassed by a certain topic. You also want to choose something that’ll work for at least most members, so taking votes is the way to go.

Step 6: Create a Structure for the Discussions

After you settle your members and the way you’ll choose the books, it’s time to create a structure for the discussions. Leaving the conversations to go haphazardly can only end in a mess. You’ll have a blur of loud voices talking at the same time, and no one will actually hear the other.
What you need to do is, establish an order for the discussions. To lead the discussion, write down the interesting page numbers, and create a list of questions related to the book. Then, during the debate, ask your questions by order and let the members answer.
If you notice someone has been quiet for the whole meeting, try to approach them and direct the conversation towards them. Some people will have ideas, but they’ll be shy or nervous about sharing them. A gentle nudge is always good to get them talking.

Step 7: Read Book Reviews

Before choosing the books you’ll share with the club, it’s essential to read reviews to figure out what others will think of them. To read reviews, visit the famous book bloggers and scroll through their thoughts, or look for lists to make matters easier


Book clubs are a great way to bond with your friends and get to know more people. Bonding over books is the best ever!
Once you establish order and structure for your book club, all matters will hopefully go smoothly. Remember to engage all members, even the shy ones. And, take book suggestions before deciding your book for the month.