So, you want to host an unforgettable book club meeting, but you don't know where to start? Don't worry — we've all been there. For all of us avid readers of the world, book clubs can be an excellent way to learn about different novels, authors, and genres, as well as meet people who share our hobbies and interests. However, finding a good book club is definitely a challenge, and hosting one is even tougher.
That being said, it's an endeavor well worth the challenge. There are countless reasons why every woman should join a book club: you get to talk about books and socialize, you get to read books you probably wouldn't have picked up otherwise, you get to drink booze while chatting about themes and characters, you get to meet other book lovers, and, best of all, you get to have a lot of fun doing what you love. So if you want to participate in the joy of a book club but don't know where to start, there some easy hacks for throwing an unforgettable book club meeting. I chatted with Amazon's Senior Books Editor, Adrian Liang, to get her tips for throwing a book club that will thrill newbies and veterans alike.
1. Be The Leader.
"If you want that book club, you have to make it happen," Liang tells Bustle. "If you're not a natural-born leader, taking the initiative for the first meeting can get the ball rolling for future meetings. It's easy: choose the first book, set a location and send out a Doodle to find out the best meeting time. Once you have the basics down and the first meeting on the calendar, you can delegate tasks to different members and set up a rolling schedule so everyone plans and hosts a different month.
2. Bring In New Blood.
"A book club with a mix of men and women tends to read a wider range of books, because different people contribute different interests," Liang says. "An interesting book club is one in which you read books you might otherwise never have picked up."
3. Reward The Regular Readers.
One of the major problems with book clubs are members who simply don't read the book. In order to ensure everyone comes prepared for the discussion, set up a rewards system that encourages members to read, read, read. "[Gift] a bottle of wine to the person or people who read every book five months in a row," Liang says. "Or, if you finish all the books three months in a row, you get to pick the next book selection... You know best what reward will be most effective."
4. Pick A Theme.
Choosing a book can be difficult; you want to choose something everyone will love, but you also need to choose something that no one has read yet. In these situations, it's best to skip the bestsellers and choose something a little more specific. Liang suggests tailoring your book selections to a theme. "Pick a theme — like Italy, damaged families, or one-hit wonders — and read three books in a row that fall into that theme. Each book builds upon the last book, and members will feel a new engagement," she says.
5. Go Way Outside Your Comfort Zone.
Sometimes, we fall into a bit of a routine with our reading. It's easy to read YA novel after YA novel or thriller upon thriller and never reach for anything new. Use the book club as an opportunity to experience different genres and expand your reading horizons. "Try poetry, graphic novels, or middle grade books — whatever you don't read regularly — to get a dose of new material and new excitement," Liang says.
6. Set Ground Rules.
Book club may be an extracurricular activity, but it helps to have rules and systems in place to keep things running smoothly. "It's up to you if you want a book club that's more about sipping wine than reading," Liang says. "Just make sure that all members are on the same page about the reading expectations." She urges members to set up systems to decide how you'll be picking the books, how often you want to meet and where you'll be meeting.
Images: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle; Giphy (7)