How to Improve Your Book Club

When it comes to book clubs, these are an underrated institution. Book clubs have a lot to offer us, but they tend to be ignored, as reading, in general, seems to be on the decline. Other faster, more passive forms of entertainment seem to dominate the entertainment landscape. Books, meanwhile, require more mental energy, but that’s a great thing. The extra work we expend entertaining ourselves this way accomplishes a couple of unique things. First, you’re creating a certain portion of the story being told in your own mind simply by interpreting the book. Second, the extra mental workout is simply good for your brain. Book Clubs allow us these same benefits that reading alone gives us, but, by sharing the activity with a group and then discussing the material, we come to new, more nuanced and complete understanding of the book in question. However, as mentioned, this kind of recreational discourse isn’t as appreciated as it needs to be. However, you could perhaps try recruiting new members for your book club with a few extra steps. Here are some suggestions.

First and foremost, let’s about your space. If you hold book club meetings in your home, you need to make the space as inviting as possible. Take your cues here from public hangout spots. For example, what kind of seating do you have? IF you’re in your living room, your probably have a couch, maybe also a love seat or a recliner. First of all, this probably won’t fit any more than four people. Secondly, that’s considering your ability to cram people in, which you would want to avoid. Therefore, it might behoove you to expand your seating and/or use smaller chairs for separation of members. Another thing to consider is some decor with more mass appeal. If you have any decor that you feel screams “you,” perhaps consider replacing it, at least during meetings, with something more universal. Something you might find at Nordstrom for example.

As for communication, it’s incredibly important to give everyone an equal opportunity to discuss. Treat meetings like a classroom, but everyone is the teacher. “There are no dumb questions,” for example, is a good mentality to have. Try to de escalate arguments when and if they occur. It may be “just books,” but people get passionate when it comes to disagreement, and you never what might happen.