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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RMN = Retail Me Not
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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If you like to read, chances are you’ve either been in or thought about being in a book club. Have you ever thought about starting your own? A book club is one of those things a lot of people may be interested in but feel intimated to initiate. If you do the legwork of getting one started, you’re likely to find a group of other people with similar hobbies (reading!) who would love to get together every once in a while and talk about a book.

Read on for my best tips on how to start a book club for entertainment and connection.

How to Start a Book Club

What’s the purpose?

First, you need to know the why of what you’re doing. Do you want more accountability in reading? Do you want to have a serious discussion about serious books? Do you just want a good reason to hang out with friends? Answer the question honestly, as that will drive the way you answer the rest of the questions. A friend just moved to a new state and her husband is on staff at a church, so she has initial connections with lots of people, but has decided to do a book club this summer to try to deepen some of those relationships.

Who should you invite?

Some book clubs are bigger; some are smaller. You could even decide for your first round to just read a book with a friend (sometimes called a buddy read) and then discuss it when you’re both finished. You could cast a wide net and invite lots of people, knowing only a percentage will come. Or be strategic and intentionally invite certain people, asking each of them to invite a friend. A good size for a discussion group is 6-10 people, with any more than 12 getting a little big.

How should you get organized?

The first step would be to gather information from the people in your book club. Whether you’re meeting in person or not, a Google form is a great way to get organized. Ask which day of the week works best, get contact info, ask for book suggestions, and decide how to communicate (group text, GroupMe, e-mail, Facebook group, etc.).

When and how often will you meet?

The traditional book club meets once a month and discusses the whole book at once. But you could meet every other month if people’s schedules are too tight. Or you could meet once a week for a month and discuss different chapters in one book (this is great for really dense nonfiction books, such as a book about personality types or other self-help books).

Where will you meet?

I recently participated in a book club over Zoom, and it was great! Unlike meeting at someone’s house, there’s a lot more flexibility. Moms whose husbands work late could still join without childcare if the kids are in bed. Physical proximity isn’t an issue. That said, meeting in person is also fun if that’s an option. You could also do written discussions on a Facebook group or other platform. Another option for moms with young kids is to meet up at a park and talk casually about a book while the kids play!

How and which books will you choose?

Ultimately, someone has to make a decision. I recommend that you choose the first book so that you can talk about it when you’re inviting people to your group. Then you can in the future give a few options (perhaps from suggestions from those in the group) and everyone can vote. Just don’t get too democratic, or you’ll never decide.

As far as which books to choose, some groups do only fiction. You might alternate between fiction and nonfiction. If you stick with just fiction, you could mix it up by choosing newer books and older books. No matter which book you choose, consider books that are easily available to purchase online or to check out at the library and that are available in many forms (ebook, audiobook, paperback).

If you’re looking for specific recommendations, here are some recent fiction ideas and here are some nonfiction recommendations.

What should you do during the meeting?

You can use book club discussion questions and choose questions that fit the book you have. Some books come with questions in the book specifically for book clubs, or you can find discussion guides for the books online (a quick Google search can help1). If it’s more of a social thing than a serious book club, you can just ask a few simple questions:

  1. What jumped out to you? What did you like or dislike?
  2. Was there anything about the book that you found unbelievable or unrealistic? 
  3. (depending on content) What about this book changed you? What will you take away from it?

Ultimately, a book club should be about serving the purpose you named at the beginning. Even if it’s just a monthly gathering with friends where you only kind of talk about a book, starting a book club could be a really fun addition to your life!

If you could pick any book to discuss with friends, what would it be? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for other frugal means of entertainment? See all of our entertainment posts!

Whether you meet in person or on Zoom, this post will give you all the tips you need to know how to start a book club and connect with friends in a fun way!