5 Tips for building a successful book club


First aired on Airplay (13/09/13)

Book clubs. They can start with the best of intentions, but even the most avid readers can admit to book club failure. Whether it was clashes of personality or lack of time, not all book clubs are built to last. So what can you do to ensure your book club stands the test of time? Airplay host Dave White turned to Sarah Crane, Brianne Bremner and Tara McCarthy of the WCBC (Wine and Cheese Book Club) in Whitehorse to find out. Their club has been around since 2010 and is still going strong.

"It changes how you read the book when you know that you're going to have a conversation about it," Sarah Crane said of the book club experience. "You read it a bit more attentively, and consider things a bit more carefully. I've definitely been introduced to books that I probably wouldn't have been otherwise because of the book club."

So, how do you build a successful book club? Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Start small

"Get a group of people that you know are going to show up," Brianne said. She emphasized the importance of choosing people who are committed, and then setting the meeting dates in advance and making sure they are entered in everyone's calendars.

2. Get the right mix of people

According to Sarah, getting the right mix of people is key -- and it helps to have variety. "I like the idea that it brings together people who don't necessary know each other."

3. Know your group's tastes

Tara emphasized that it's important to know "what genres you all like, and find a happy medium." She also added that size matters when it comes to choosing a book. "Don't choose a 600-page book."

4. Have supporting information

All three agreed that it can be helpful to have background material on hand, and to flag some passages in the book to prompt discussion. They've found it useful to turn to online resources, including forums, that can provide a jumping-off point for discussion.

5. Have fun

That's what having a book club is all about, right?

What do you think makes for a successful book club? If you have a tip to add, let us know in the comments section below.

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