Starting a Book Club Offers Inexpensive Entertainment in a Down Economy

Times are tough, but that doesn’t mean life’s little luxuries have to be a thing of the past. Many readers are finding that starting a book club is a great way to enjoy fun, friendship and a good read on the cheap.

Reading is a wonderful way to escape from the day-to-day realities. That can be especially rewarding in this economy, when the pressures of falling investments and pinching pennies seem like too much.

Try these seven tips for starting a book group that won’t cost a lot, but doesn’t sacrifice the fun of a book club:

  1. Publicize your club with free resources. Use sites like Craigslist and free bulletin boards at your local library or book store to find members for your reading club.
  2. Choose an inexpensive meeting site. Don’t hold your meetings at a restaurant or coffee shop, where members will feel obligated to make a purchase. Either ask permission of the store owner to use the space without making a purchase, or choose free meeting sites like member’s homes, library meeting rooms, or community buildings.
  3. Consider book selections carefully. If you choose the latest hardcover bestseller or Oprah book pick, your members are likely going to have to shell out $20 or more to purchase the book in a store. Instead, choose books that are a few years old. They’ll likely be available at the library or used book stores for cheap!
  4. Use your library. Most people don’t realize it, but libraries often have book group kits, which contain multiple copies of one book and a reading discussion guide. Plan your book selections around the kits your library has available.
  5. Hold book swaps. Get a group of friends together and exchange the books you’ve finished reading for new books.
  6. Go online. Virtual book clubs and forums are popping up all over the Internet. Find a group to discuss your latest read online and you never have to leave your home!
  7. Shop discount stores.  Do you still want to offer light refreshments during your book club meeting? Inexpensive appetizers and drinks can be found at discount food stores like Gordon’s Food Service and Aldi’s.