Five tips to help you make your bookclub the best

Starting a book club is an exciting idea, but it can be hard to keep it fresh and maintain everyone’s interest.

After a while, predictability can set in, the books you read can start to all feel the same, and the number of attendees may reduce. To help avoid this, Summary Guru, the leading literary analysis site, discusses how to spice up your reading choices and keep your book club going strong.

1) Allow for diversity

Choose a wide selection of titles catering to various interests and genres. This encourages participation from members with different reading tastes and keeps discussions vibrant and engaging.

One of the best ideas is to create a rota where everyone takes turns to choose a book, as this ensures you’ll have people with different tastes picking the new book each month. Another idea is to ask everyone to try and pick a book in a genre they’ve never read before.

Because of the variety and range of genres, you should allow club members to dip in and out of attending whenever they want, so that they don’t feel obligated to read a book that holds no interest for them.

The books should be available in your local library or sold (in paperback or hardback) in stores or online. Some people may prefer large-print versions, audiobooks, or Kindle editions, so it’s a good idea to see if you can pick a book that has all these options available. 

2) Encourage discussion

Prepare thought-provoking questions in advance to guide the conversation. Does the book have contrasting or parallel characters – how do they affect the narrative? How is humour used? Is there an underlying message or philosophy that runs beneath the storyline? 

How does the book apply to modern real-world issues? Encourage everyone to share their perspectives, and be respectful of differing opinions. You could even invite a scholar or the author for an inspiring Q and A session, in person or online.  

3) Vary the meetings

Consider alternating between in-person gatherings and virtual meetings to accommodate all members’ schedules and locations. Introduce themed meetings based on the book of the month – including decorations and activities that complement the reading material. Also, having some kind of food available at your meetings is always guaranteed to draw people in!

4) Extend the experience

Besides reading and discussing books, you could plan outings to locations related to your current reads. Such experiences strengthen the bond between members and add an extra layer of engagement with the literature, as well as simply being a fun day out with friends.

5) Embrace technology

Create a social media group on Facebook for members to share thoughts, recommendations, and updates. This allows for continuous interaction and keeps the momentum going between meetings. Send a regular book club newsletter by email to all those requesting updates.

You should regularly seek feedback and make any necessary changes to the group. This way, you’ll better meet the needs and preferences of its members, and ensure its continuing popularity.

Summary Guru is a book review site that provides a literary analysis for people studying the book or writing about it.

There is also a built-in AI tool that helps people to see quick summaries of any book. For example, you probably remember studying Dickens, Jane Austen, or Shakespeare at school. The articles provided similes, metaphors, all literary devices, themes, genres, etc. Plus there’s an author section to search author bios.