How to start a book club


New York Times Bestselling Author, Lori Gottlieb, discusses the exciting process of creating your very own book club, including steps and several areas of consideration. She also shares a few ways she likes to change it up, such as rotating venues and making book club nights double as potluck dinners!


Hi, I'm Lori Gottlieb. As a writer, I get to visit a lot of book clubs. And when I do, sometimes I see what doesn't work. So today, let's talk about what does. First off, before you even start a book club, it's important to set your goals. Think about what you want. Are you interested in reading only one genre of book? What pace do you want to set? Do you want to use traditional books, or do you want to use eReaders?


Next, invite people to join. Make sure that when you invite people, you care about what your members have to say. The ideal size is eight to 12 people. I'm sure you can find eight to 12 people who are pleasant to be around.


But if not, another option is to host your book club online. An online book club is basically a forum where the discussions can take place. There are great sites that can help you set one up. You can create private clubs and invite your friends from all across the country. Or you can create public groups, where everyone can discuss, say, a specific book, or an author, or a category that you like.


And then, after you've gathered your core group and decided on your theme, get together and set up a framework. Decide on a regular meeting time, including how often you want to meet. Then, figure out who hosts.


Now here's a tip, and this is key. If you're the host, make sure you don't do all the cooking. Make it a pot luck. And if you choose someone else, make sure it's someone who will, I don't know, serve good wine or bring some good desserts.


Once you have your framework, choose what to read. Some groups vote at the beginning of the year. Others let the host choose. And others use a best sellers list. Next, you'll need to make sure there are enough copies of each book. So, explore purchasing options, checking out books from your local library, or even accessing the title on an eReader.


OK. Before a meeting, encourage everyone to come prepared. Let's define prepared. That means that they will have read more than the wiki summary. And assuming that you've read past the first chapter, take some notes while you go so you'll have a couple of provocative ideas to get the group going. Write them down so you don't forget.


This eReader is a terrific device for note taking. It can help you reference your ideas quickly so you know what to say in the group. So have some fun creating your own book group and watch it grow. I'm Lori Gottlieb for Sony with Howdini. For more great ideas, visit

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  • Lori Gottlieb

    Lori Gottlieb New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Gottlieb is the renowned author of the New York Times bestseller and Editors’ Choice Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, which gives a provocative look at modern relationships. more about this expert »

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