A few years ago, I was searching for book clubs in my local area and realised the nearest was almost 20 miles away. So, as I was keen to meet people in my local town, I decided to set up a club. The idea was to meet once a month or so, preferably after the kids had gone to bed. Ideally, it would be a small, tight group. If meetings could be within walking distance of the club members’ front doors, all the better.
To get things going, I posted on some local discussion boards. I asked anyone interested in joining a new book club to let me know. Before long I had enough interest to arrange the first meeting. I chose a local pub as the venue and the managers kindly organised free nibbles for the first meeting.
In case we had nothing to talk about at the first meeting, I prepared a list of some good books for book clubs. I copied the blurbs and brought them to the meeting.
At the meeting, after initial introductions, I handed round the blurbs. I explained how I had selected the initial list and asked for views on the books. This triggered a lively discussion. A few people had read some of the books already and a few recognised books on the list that they were interested in reading. Some said they liked or disliked the sound of particular titles on the list. After debate, we settled on our first read and arranged to meet again in a month’s time.
We decided to take it in turns to bring suggestions to each meeting. Someone volunteered to produce the next list. And basically, that was it.
We met again a month later. After that, the meetings continued fairly regularly. We even arranged some movie nights in each other’s houses where we watched DVDs of the books we’d read. We also arranged some nights out at the cinema, theatre and for dinner.
The initial numbers dwindled after a while. We ended up with a core group of 6 people who continue to meet regularly. We became good friends. So, the club worked as a way of getting to know neighbours.
If you’re interested in reading, or if you’ve always wanted to get involved in book clubs but haven’t yet found the right club for you, I definitely recommend having a go at starting your own. You may find these book club resources helpful.
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