Posted in Other Book Posts
August 28, 2018

10 Tips for the Best Book Club Ever

I can’t recall how long my book club has been functioning. Three years? Four? Regardless, we have had a great run of it, and I can only see things getting better. Looking to create your own book club? Or maybe you’re already in a book club, but need ideas to keep things interested and your members involved. Here are some tips inspired by my own book club. These methods have kept our busy selves going for quite a while!

1. Create some guidelines.

It’s always important to have rules! For our book club, we really only have two rules:

  1. We don’t read anything we should have read in high school.
  2. We don’t read books that are over 450 pages.

2. Don’t be afraid to break the rules.

Always talk with your book club first, but don’t be afraid to break away from your guidelines. We’ve read books that we should have read in high school (The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde) and books that are ri-donk-ulously long (The Goldfinch by Donna Tart).

As a group, we decided that these books were a good fit for our book club, despite breaking “the rules”. The person whose turn it was to pick the book proposed the idea and gave their reasoning. We all agreed to read the books and did just that!

3. Don’t just make it about the books.

Sometimes, throw in another activity. Our most successful “other activity” meeting was The One Where There Was A Murder Mystery Party. (That was a really bad Friends reference.)

Those of us who made it out to the murder mystery meeting.
The time we dressed up as flappers and went to a Speakeasy-themed bar/restaurant!

4. Don’t punish members who can’t make it.

If someone doesn’t show up, oh well. Their loss! People are busy! Furthermore, maybe everyone makes it to the meeting, but half didn’t finish the book. That’s okay too! (For the most part. More on that later.) Don’t be too hard on people for not making it or running out of time to read. Even if you know they went out last night and could have been in reading instead. Like come on, Sharon. Not all of us find lyrical fiction to be as entertaining as taking shots and dancing!

5. But like, for real, make sure people read the book.

We even ask when picking the book sometimes. “Hey, who isn’t gonna read this?” Truth is, you can’t have a book club if people aren’t going to read the book! As long as at least two people in attendance at the meeting finished the book, you’re good. But otherwise, there’s really no point in meeting! Make sure you have some disciplined people in your group, or some real book nerds at the very least.

6. Food and booze. They’re a must.

Let’s be real: The main attraction of book club is the munchies and drinks! Make sure you’ve got some good food and drinks to keep the party going even if the book was dull.

Speaking of good wines…
I have a limited amount of FREE boxes of Winc to give away!
Click here for three free bottles of vino to bring to your next book club meeting.

Our rule is that the next person to choose the book brings the snacks! (Of course, we don’t follow any rule 100%, so sometimes this changes.)

7. Choose books that have movie/show adaptations.

We’ve done this before, and it’s always a lot of fun to compare the book and the show. We haven’t used this one before, but Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is the obvious choice right now!

Fun fact: We actually started book club with Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. (In looking this up to create the affiliate link, I see I purchased it three and a half years ago, which answers the question of how long my club has been functioning for!)

8. Reach out to the authors.

Our most recent book club experience was our coolest yet. We just finished Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer. This book was a fun, witty, adventurous “buddy cop”-type read – about Joe Biden and Barack Obama!

Ashley chose Hope Never Dies for our book club pick. Between the two of us, we reached out to Andrew Shaffer through social media. Andrew was awesome enough to join our book club during Skype this past weekend! We chatted about Hope Never Dies, his inspiration, some funny Joe Biden anecdotes, his writing process, and more.

Seriously! Invite the author to your book club! You never know – they might show up!

9. Schedule things ahead of time.

I always bring my planner to book club meetings. We’re all busy adults, so inevitably, someone can’t make it for each and every date we propose. Ultimately, we’ve found that Sundays are free for all of us, generally. We usually do brunch, but occasionally throw in an afternoon meeting instead.

We all schedule ahead of time for the date the most people can make it, and hope that somehow, everyone shows!

10. Love your book club. No matter what.

Tagged with:


  • Aparna Prabhu

    This sounds so fun. I have never participated in an offline book club, though I’m a part of few online ones. Is there an fb group for your club? Would love to join

    Reply to Aparna Prabhu
    • Post authorKate

      I don’t have a Facebook group, but you can check out my Facebook page at facebook.com/btchbookshelf. I share plenty of updates on my IRL book club there.

      Reply to Kate
  • Jennilyn V.

    Aww, those dressed-up meetings look fun! I’d want to join a book club who actually meets face to face but I can’t find a group who meets near my place so I have to settle with the online book community in the meantime. 🙂

    Reply to Jennilyn V.
    • Post authorKate

      #Bookstagram and Facebook groups can be just as fun and rewarding. 🙂

      Reply to Kate
  • Entertainingly Nerdy

    Good tips! I’ve been wanting to start a book club lately.

    Reply to Entertainingly Nerdy
    • Post authorKate

      Thanks! If you do start a book club, I hope it’s just as much of a pleasure for you as it is for my friends and me.

      Reply to Kate
  • Jordanne

    This is a great post – I really want to start a bookclub but I don’t really know anyone else who’d want to be in one.

    Reply to Jordanne
    • Post authorKate

      Thank you! If you can’t find any IRL friends who would join a book club with you, there are plenty of online clubs.

      Reply to Kate
  • Natalie

    I wamt to be part of this book club!

    Reply to Natalie
    • Post authorKate

      Haha – if you’re local, we would gladly welcome you. Otherwise, feel free to follow along with our readings on this blog. 😉

      Reply to Kate
    • Post authorKate

      We really do! If you have friends who will participate, I highly encourage it. If not, online books clubs are pretty fun!

      Reply to Kate
    • Post authorKate

      Glad to hear it!

      Reply to Kate
  • Manon

    Great tips! I would love to be part of a book club.

    Reply to Manon
    • Post authorKate

      Thank you! If you can’t swing one IRL, there are tons of great options for online clubs!

      Reply to Kate
  • DJ Sakata

    Wine – lots of wine 😉

    Reply to DJ Sakata
    • Post authorKate

      Wine is always a good idea. (Unless you have to drive.)

      Reply to Kate
  • Love, Sawyer

    I’m so jealous. I want to be in a book club but I don’t think there are any near me.

    Reply to Love, Sawyer
    • Post authorKate

      Create your own! That’s what we did. 😉

      Reply to Kate
  • Tasha

    First rule of book club – never talk about book club’ 🙂 seriously, I don’t think I could be in a book club because my reading tastes go through phases.

    Reply to Tasha
    • Post authorKate

      Mine do too. It’s nice getting read outside of my general taste, and if I don’t like a book, my club is pretty chill. I just DNR it unless it’s an easy read. Then I push through.

      Reply to Kate
  • Rachael | Pingel Sisters

    Book clubs are so much fun! We just started an online one this month. Thanks for all the tips!

    Reply to Rachael | Pingel Sisters
    • Post authorKate

      Yes! I’m keeping an eye on your club. If there’s a month I have free time with a book I’m eyeing up I’ll be there. 😉

      Reply to Kate

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.