Book Club

Do you belong to a book club or are you thinking of setting one up? Here are some suggestions.

  • Decide on a meeting place. If your group is small you could take it in turns to host the meeting in your own home. Alternatively, you may prefer to meet on neutral ground – a quiet corner in a local pub or over supper in a restaurant.
  • Number of members. This may depend on how many people can be accomodated at the meeting venue. A large group may make it difficult for everyone to hear and take their turn in the discussion but too small a group may not result in stimulating discussions.
  • Choose a discussion leader. This person needs to step in to allow everyone to have their say!
  • How to choose which books to read? Hold a planning meeting where everyone can suggest their choice. These may be old favourites or ideas gathered from reviews from the Sunday papers or television or radio programmes such as the Radio 4 Book Club or Open Book. Either cast votes or allow each menber in turn to choose.
  • Buying books. You can have books from Amazon delivered to your door or you may have a local bookshop where you can negotiate a discount for quantity. Alternatively, approach another book club and see if they would like to swap books.
  • What to look for when reading the book choice. Take notes as you go and note your emotional response to the book and whether you considered it well written, even if it is not the kind of book you would normally choose for yourself. Was the characterisation good and were there themes that made you think? What was the most memorable description or dialogue for you? What were the books strengths and weaknesses?

I have made some suggestions for book club discussions for The Apothecary’s Daughter and suggestions for The Painter’s Apprentice will follow soon.


2 thoughts on “Book Club”

  1. All good advice Charlotte. I don’t yet belong to one myself but I would add another point people might want to be aware of. I know someone who belongs to a book club but finds themselves frustrated that the other members can’t tolerate anything at all edgy. They choose very ‘safe’ books whereas she likes the odd bit of murder and mayhem. I’d say it’s as well to check out with other potential members their likes and dislikes so you get to read and exchange ideas about books you really want to read.

    • That’s a very valid point, Cara. Perhaps the way forward is to set up a book club with a group of friends you already know and then any new members can come for three meetings before you all decide if you are going to ‘gel’ together?


Leave a Comment