Creating a Community Book Club

Creating a book club in your neighborhood or community is a great way to get to know like-minded people in you area. There is nothing better than getting together with friends and neighbors over an interesting discussion or debate in a community book club. Where to begin?

Pick a Genre

Some book clubs are general in nature and focus on a wide range of topics and themes, whereas others are more specific. It can be easier to find people with something in common if you narrow your focus to one genre, but it’s not required to have a successful book club experience. Creating a general interest book club first and splitting into niche clubs would allow people to attend the ones they are most interested in and provide the area with more options.


If you are invited just a few book-loving girlfriends, or only co-workers, than this part is a no-brainer. You already know who you want to participate. However, if you are trying to meet new people in your area – you’ll need to get creative with inviting folks. Consider joining an online neighborhood group – sites like Facebook and Next Door have plenty – to find interested parties. You can also use word or mouth or print little flyers to place on doors or the neighborhood coffee shop bulletin board.


The tradition of starting a book club in someone’s home can still work today. To keep it more communal and relieve the burden of just you organizing everything, set the expectation at the beginning that the location will rotate. Have a sign-up ready for the first meeting so volunteers can step up right away. You could also pick a more public spot, like the library or a coffee shop, if that’s easier.  Consider whether a relaxed, casual setting will work better for you or something more formal for your book club gatherings.

Also, at the first meeting is the time to talk scheduling so that you can pick dates and times that work for everyone.

Picking Books

While it’s perfectly okay to recommend the first book, no one likes a book club boss who doesn’t accept input or recommendations from others. During your first meeting discuss how you want to pick books for the club. Everyone could take turns or you could print off or email a list from the local bookstore on new and notable titles?

If no one has any ideas and you want to make it easy, pick an already popular national book club, like Reese’s Book Club for example, and read what they are reading. A benefit to established groups like this is that they often already have built-in resources and discussion questions you can use.

Sharing your opinions and your reading preferences can be a very personal experience. Make sure that you create a safe space for sharing and getting to know one another.


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