Having another book club meeting soon? Here are some tips for making your next meeting go smooth and be more fun and valuable for every member.
Organization & Preparation
Each book club should have one member, a leader, in charge of scheduling, organizing and preparing the meetings. Details like the meeting place, meeting time and communication between members needs to be worked out. A helpful way to communicate between a book club is to have a central meeting place on the web, such as a message board, blog or discussion group. Some options for this include Yahoo Groups, free forums like ProBoards or free blog options like Blogger.com. Having a central meeting place accessible by the web is an effective way to coordinate between members and to continue discussions between meetings. In addition, a flexible schedule of activities and hand outs can be drawn up and placed on the web.
One of the most fun aspects of having a book club meeting is the varied snacks and drinks you can offer. One excellent suggestion would be to tailor the refreshments to the theme of the current book. For instance, if a book has a story based in Paris, then French style pastries and wine would be great options. Or if the story centers around the a Pacific island, then tropical themed food like fresh fruit and tropical drinks would be appropriate.
Don't forget to open up the discussions and ask each other questions pertaining to the book. What did you think of this or why do you think this character did this would be good example questions to start with. Have a list of questions prepared to encourage a lively discussion about the book.
Games & Activities
The activities for the meeting are the most important aspect, and what every member looks forward to most. Some game ideas include:
Pass The Hat is a game where each person contributes their own questions for the group. The questions are written on separate cards or pieces of paper and put into a hat or other container and passed around the group. Each member puts their hand in the hat and selects a question to read to the group. That particular member can answer the question, but other members can also add to the answer, depending on the size of the group and the time available.
Another activity is to have a trivia challenge. Questions and answers about the book are prepared and each member must answer a question. If they answer the question right, they get one point and stay in the game. If a member gets a question wrong, they are out of the game. Prizes are given to the top point getters.
Another game would be a guessing game. In a guessing game, quotes would be taken from the book and members would need to guess what character is responsible for that quote.
Planning Ahead For The Next Meeting
Don't forget to plan ahead for your next meeting. Suggestions for the next book should be taken and discussed, then a poll can be placed in the online group for members to vote on.
Lydia Quinn is a contributor/editor for TheWindsOfAsharra.com, the official site for fantasy romance novel The Winds Of Asharra, where you can find book excerpts, an author blog, purchase links and information about the book. Visit us at: http://www.thewindsofasharra.com/