How to Start a Book Club
When prospective members contact you for more information, explain the purpose of the book club and the number of members you're looking for. Interview them briefly about the types of books they like to read, and why they're interested in joining a book club. Let them know when and where the first meeting will be held, and ask them to bring two book suggestions to the meeting. (Additional materials, such as reviews of their suggestions, are always helpful, too!)
The Meeting Place
The location of your book club meetings—a restaurant, library, or your living room—will influence the number of members in the club and vice versa.
If it's in your home, you might want to keep it to eight or less. Ideally, no one member will have to host every meeting of the club. Club members are often willing—and usually eager—to host a meeting of the club at their house.
Still, no one should feel obligated to host a meeting in their home. Aside from hosting, there are other ways members can get involved when the club gets together. If you're hosting in someone's home, decide if refreshments will be served. Try an appetizer or dessert recipe.
If your library has a meeting room available, you may want to open up the club to 12 or more members. Other options for larger book clubs include meeting areas at bookstores, churches, YMCAs, restaurants or hotels. (Some of these may charge a fee—check before you commit.)
Your Virtual Meeting Place
Online book clubs are growing in popularity, and you can invite friends from around the world to join you. As an Oprah.com member, you can start your own discussion thread anytime. You never have to worry about a meeting space, appetizers or cleaning up—and your favorite people can drop in anytime!
The challenge is to make sure members are reading at roughly the same speed so no one gives away the juicy parts! Before you post a message or answer someone's question, read the responses you've missed so you know how far everyone's read.