Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Well Organized Book Club

The book club that I belong to is very well organized and it's been running like a well oiled machine for almost twenty-years. I cannot take credit for any of this, because I haven't been a member for twenty years nor did I have anything to with the organization of it, but I can share how it works. I realize that this is just one way to organize a book club, and certainly not the only way. But it does work for us.

We have eleven members. One to host the book club every month except in August when we take a summer break. 

When it's your turn to be host you are responsible for everything:

1) You pick and provide the book the month before your turn. You buy copies for every single member and get it to them -- some like paper and some like ebook. This is one of my favorite aspects of the club - there's no situation where you're three weeks into the month and you haven't bought the book yet. There aren't lengthy discussions about which book to read every month. 

2) You remind everyone of the meeting, provide directions and confirm attendee numbers.

3) You provide all of the snacks and wine.

Book Selection

1) Books are supposed to have fewer than 400 pages (there have been some exceptions.

2) The hosts are not supposed to read or pre-screen the book. That way no one is offended if their selection is not universally loved.

3) You are not supposed to talk about the book with other club members before the meeting. 

The Meeting 

1) The group catches up and eats while waiting for all the members who have confirmed to show up. Once they do, the group talks about the book. Really talks about the book in depth. 

2) After we are done talking about the book, everyone starts catching up again. 

I love the way this works. It makes book club easy. I'd also love to hear your book club traditions, or favorite books your club has read. Looking forward to your comments below. 


  1. This sounds fabulous. I've never been in a book club but I think I'd like this. Too bad I live on the wrong coast.

    1. I know! What are we thinking living so far away.

  2. My book club is through the library and that causes issues because we have to be open to anyone, we rely on the library to reserve books, etc. I like the idea of each member being in charge once a year, that is a wonderful idea!

  3. Oh, interesting. That sounds like a nice way to run a book club. The one I'm in is very unstructured -- the only rules are that you don't have to read the book (so you can still come to the meeting) and no depressing books (which rules out most Russian literature). At the end of each meeting whoever is there decides the next book and host. Then afterwards, the host sends out a doodle poll to schedule the next meeting.