Book Clubs are easy to start and lot of fun, so if you love books, this is for you!
They allow you to share your passion for literature, learn new things and meet new friends. But how do you start your own book club and how can you turn it into a successful fundraiser month after month?
How to start your own book club
You can draw members from any part of your social circle: family, friends and/or co-workers. Smaller groups (somewhere between four and ten) are great because they allow everyone a chance to participate, while larger groups (ten-plus) allow for greater diversity.
One of the benefits of a reading group is that it allows you to discover new authors, topics and genres.
How to choose your books
You can choose your books a number of different ways:
- By selecting titles a year at a time
- If a different member hosts the meeting each month let that person select that title
- Let everyone bring a selection of titles to a meeting and have a vote
- Have everyone bring in one or two selections and draw them out of a hat
- By asking the local library to draw up a list of recommended reading
How to set up the meeting
For the first meeting give the members 4 – 5 weeks to read the book
Pick a regular monthly date to make scheduling easier e.g. the first Wednesday of the month
Allow 2 to 3 hours for each meeting.
Each meeting should have a leader, or there can be a leader who’s in charge every month. This leader will be in charge of keeping everyone organised, such as sending emails to remind everyone of when and where the next meeting takes place.
Make sure you have several discussion topics or questions beforehand. Look the title up online to see if a reading group guide exists and take a print out to the meeting to refer to. As you’re reading, it might be helpful to write down the page numbers of any passages that interest you.
How to conduct the meeting
Each discussion needs a leader.
The discussion leader’s role is to make sure discussion flows, not too much time is spent on any one topic, and that all members get a chance to speak.
The discussion leader can research interesting, lesser-known facts about the author and/or the book’s setting, time period, etc., and then share with the group.
How to make it a successful fundraising event
Book clubs are always free but there are plenty of other ways to raise money for charity. For example; when hosting your meeting, you can sell refreshments for a small fee. You could also host a dinner and have the book discussion afterward over coffee and dessert.
If you’re able to work out a deal with a local bookseller and get copies of books at a discount, offer the books for sale to the club members for a little more than your group paid with the proceeds going to Young Heroes.
Raise even more money by having a group member or two babysit for those people who want to participate, but have small children.