How to make your book club successful

Over the last month, I’ve blogged about how to start a book club and how to run a book club meeting. I’m back for the third and final part: how to make your book club successful.

I know it’s easy to have false starts with new clubs. The good intentions are there, and they make it work for two or three meetings… but then it drops off. It really takes a special group of people to make it work – that, and a lot of perseverance.

How to make your book club successful

I polled the girls, and here are the five things we think make a successful book club:

I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but this is probably the most important ingredient in a successful book club. You need someone organizing, making decisions and in charge. Without a clear leader, things will get missed. Whoever it is should be authoritative (without being bossy), detail-oriented and a planner.

Awesome members
This is, quite honestly, why I think my book club is the very best. The members the most amazing women. We are different in every sense of the word, but fabulous in our individuality. We come from all walks of life, all beliefs and from all over the country. It makes for an awesome discussion. Our one thing in common? We’re smart, strong and really love food and wine.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but communications is key. Whether it’s an email chain, iPhone chat or whatever, you have to have a place for members to communicate about  meetings, ideas, logistics etc.  Another tip – avoid last-minute changes to meetings. People might not get the message in time.

This is super important for attendance. You need to pick a regular, predictable time for meetings. That way people know what to expect. It’s also really important to communicate this (and any changes) well in advance so people can plan ahead.

Open environment
A few of the girls commented they love how open book club is – they feel free to say whatever they think or feel without being judged, and always have the opportunity to speak. It should be a respectful, thoughtful environment where members can speak their mind and discuss openly, regardless of their background or point of view.

And, let’s be honest… there’s one more thing that keeps the ladies coming back for more…

wine book club

What’s your key to book club success?


About Julia Kent

Julia is an outgoing and energetic writer and food blogger from Halifax. Five years ago, Julia started The Unputdownable Book Club and her food blog, The Domestic Blonde. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, Julia currently works in Ottawa in public relations. As a former broadcast journalist and with a background in musical theatre, she is a natural presenter. In her free time, she recipe-tests, reads, runs, hosts a podcast called Young PR Pros, watches bad television and plays competitive soccer. She’s addicted to Canadian Living and Chapters Indigo. Her favourite books include A Thousand Splendid Suns, Pride & Prejudice and The Book of Negroes. Twitter: @kentjulia
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4 Responses to How to make your book club successful

  1. bookwormbird says:

    Our bookclub generally operates a ‘lucky dip’. By this I mean that we use the county library’s reading group stock (they hold multiple copies of many titles) and receive the box each month on a ‘lucky dip’ proviso. Occasionally we do choose a specific book and source our books accordingly, but using the library’s stock with the lucky dip removes anxiety about whether other members will like your choice and removes the cost element. It works well.


  2. Pingback: Book of the month – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  3. Pingback: How To: Be a Good Book Club Member | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  4. Pingback: Happy Three Year Anniversary, UBC! | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

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