How Do You Start a Book Club?

Book clubs have been proven to improve your mental health, social skills and finances in a variety of ways. These groups have been shown to consistently benefit members both mentally and physically over time. Members benefit from a total of five ways from book club environments: physically, reduce stress levels, protect member’s hearts and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; mentally, book clubs increase serotonin and connections in the brain.

According to recent research, joining a group that meets once a month can produce the same happiness gain as doubling your income.There are also social benefits–what can be greater than talking about a book that captivated you with a group of friends? Nothing beats that!

If you want to find a club, go local to your library or nearby bookstore. If you don’t live near those places, then it’s time to start a group of your own. Here’s how you can start a book club in six easy steps:

1. Find 2-3 people for your core group of your club. If you know two or three people who like to read the same books as you, tell them that you are starting an official book club. If the people that you know are not interested in joining the club, ask if they have friends that may be interested instead.

2. There are book clubs everywhere, of all different sizes and types, making it important for groups to differentiate their club from others. What kinds of books do you want to read with your group? Bestsellers? Classic science fiction? Independent erotic novellas? You get the point. Narrow down the theme before you start the club so that you attract the readers who may be interested in your book club. Find a hook that separates your book clubs from others and drives the right people to your club. When you’re done defining the group’s theme, work with other members to create a starting list of ten books that you want covered by the club.

3. This step involves finding a location that is both convenient to members of the group, and is also safe and clean. Many small clubs across the country meet in more intimate settings, such as the home of one of the group members. Hosting a club in the home of a member depends how comfortable members and leaders are with home settings. However, home settings will not work for those who want to host large book clubs. Instead, it might be easier to go to safe public places, like local libraries, high schools and colleges (for meetings after school hours) and bookstores.

4. Decide who will lead the book club discussion, and how the club will be structured for every meeting. Many groups host their meetings in the following order: icebreaker games (optional for small groups), book discussion and club “member updates.” Members can share good news items or announce upcoming personal and professional projects during the “member updates” portion of the discussion.

5. Advertise the first meeting in places where your future book club members may frequent. Advertising your group can be done in three ways: online, print and via word of mouth. Tell everyone you know about the group! When you’re done, list your group online by using social websites, such as Wrightspeak and Meetup. If you are hosting the club at a library or bookstore, have an establishment representative list your group on their website. You can also ask to advertise your group by posting flyers about the club at libraries and bookstores.

6. One of the main benefits of reading in groups is that they help strangers make new friends. Once your club has started, make plans for your group to host social events after the book discussion ends. Lead your group to an author talk, go to a wine tasting event or go out for pizza. Work with your group to find fun ways to hang out as a group.

To learn more about clubs, or to find clubs across the country, go to http://wrightspeak.com/2012/09/six-steps-to-starting-your-very-first-book-club/