When book club members get together you can usually count on good fun, good company and great socializing. What’s not to like? But with all the fun you have at meetings, it may be easy to forget that you need to exert a little effort too if you want to have good discussions.
You may balk at the idea that book club has to be work at all. Sometimes what you’re looking for after a long day at work or with the kids is just to escape. The last thing you may want is another obligation hanging over your head.
Yet without a good discussion, book club is just another social event. And while that may be okay for a meeting or two, over the long term you and other members may find yourselves dissatisfied without good book talk to anchor your time together.
The good news is that spending a little effort to be a good book club member doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy. Here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind whether you’re attending a book club meeting or hosting one.
- Come prepared to talk about the book. Think about what you liked or disliked about it, and point to specific examples. You can save time by marking passages with sticky notes as you read so you don’t have to go back and look for examples after you’re done.
- Give your full attention to other members when they talk, and don’t start a separate conversation with the person sitting next to you.
- Save unrelated personal stories for social time leading up to or after book discussion.
- When it’s your turn to choose the book, be ready to recommend a title. That way everyone can get started reading soon after the meeting if they’d like.
- When you host book club, have a set of questions ready to keep conversation going. Otherwise it may be easy for discussion to get off track.
- Be ready with dates in mind that work for your next meeting., and offer to help clean up before you go.