National Reading Group Month
October is National Reading Group Month. Explore why belonging to a reading group is a good thing. And learn how to set one up.
Ten good reasons to join a reading group
- Great food and beverages
- It’s free
- Make friends
- Meet interesting people
- Some books just need to be discussed
- Get away from screen time
- Challenge your mind
- Read and enjoy books more
- Read books you might not normally read
- And last but not least you love books
Do I have to start a reading group on my own?
No, many libraries and book stores have reading groups already in place. They’re open to the public and welcome drop-ins. Call your local library or bookstore to find out when the reading group meets. Our library has several reading groups. At the library, you’ll find groups reading a variety of topics. Some only read nonfiction or cookbooks, classics or mysteries. We even have no obligation groups where you don’t even need to show up for a meeting.
I want to start my own reading group ……. What do I do?
- What day and time will you meet? Where? Some reading groups meet in a restaurant or coffee shop. Others meet in private homes.
- Decide who will be part of your group. Will it be only with friends or neighbors or will it be open to anyone. Do you want to include only women or only men? Often a mix of men and women and of different ages can lead to varied perspectives.
- How many people? A very small group can fall apart if some members are unable to make it. While a very large group needs to be run on a more formal basis to allow all members a chance to contribute. Eight to ten members allows for sharing.
- What to read? Some groups only read a particular type of book; others will read a variety of genres or several books from the same genre. Decide how the books will be chosen. Some groups vote, others have each member choose one.
- Will members of the group take turns leading the discussion or will one person be in charge? While some groups naturally listen and share it is still a good idea to have someone as a “nominal leader”. This person may rotate among members. This person’s job is to keep the discussion on track and flowing, and allow all members to contribute.
- Overall, strive for a structure that your book club agrees on and allows for flexibility. What works for one group may not work for yours. Focus on making the group a fun and interesting place to be.
These are a few of my favorite resources —
- Bookbrowse.com – provides hundreds of book recommendations sorted by title, author, genre, time period, setting and theme. Reading guides are available.
- litlovers.com – book reviews and recommendations. Book discussion questions. How to run a book club.
- bookwire.com – new books and upcoming books, book recommendations. Browse books by subjects
- NoveList – available on the library’s website
- BookReporter.com – Book reviews, in-depth author profiles and interviews, literary games and contests.
- Magazines – Entertainment weekly, people magazine, New York Times book review have reviews for books.
Book groups combine reading with socializing for a fantastic time!
You may also enjoy
Library event calendar – find library book groups