Organizing A Book Club in College
If you're in the midst of pursuing your bachelor's degree then you know that reading for leisure is a luxury most seldom have time for. Between having to read 10 chapters of your MicroBiology textbook and reading the excerpts of The Odyssey for your introductory Literature class, it may seem impossible to squeeze in time to read material that you're actually interested in—material often reviewed on this site. But reading for pleasure can actually help you succeed in your classes—it can help you think more creatively and by giving your brain a break from textbook technical writing, you can also absorb different writing styles that can come in handy in essay writing. One of the best ways to make sure that you fit leisure reading in your busy schedule however is to join or organize a book club with friends. To learn the best way to do this, continue reading below.
Some book clubs are a "free-for-all"—members will read anything and everything, new or old. But there are other book clubs that have a specific "theme;" for example, all of the book selections are non-fiction, fantasy, or mystery novels. Decide what kind of book club you want to be before inviting members, which leads us to our next tip—
The first thing you need to do is find people who are interested in joining your book club. Book clubs can get really large, but if you rather keep things intimate only ask a few fellow book lovers if they'd be interested in joining. Inviting your friends can suffice, but if you'd prefer to make more friends, try asking a few classmates, especially those in your English and Literature classes. You'll get a new book club member and perhaps even a possible study buddy during finals week.
Choose Reading Selection
Since you're the host, it's probably easier if you go ahead and make the first selection to get things going. If you're struggling coming up with a good selection, there are several resources to help you, including Jagged Edge Reviews, Good Reads and The New York Times Best Sellers List.
Establish Meeting Times
The average book club gives their members about a month or so to read the selected book. Asking via social media which time and date works best for them is a great way to check in with everyone's schedule at once. Do note that weekend evenings are probably bad meeting times since people like to do more social activities at this time.
Day of Meeting
On the day of your book club meeting, make sure to have a list of questions that you think would spark up good conversation about the book. Essentially, books clubs are "spoken reviews." Some book clubs even like to watch the feature film adaption of the book during their meetings and compare and contrast the two. Others just deeply analyze the book. Have members bring snacks for a pot-luck type meal and just enjoy each other's company. At the end of the meeting, ask members to write down book suggestions on a piece of paper. Then add the suggestions in a hat and draw a selection. That book will be read for the following meeting.
This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray, who specializes in writing about online bachelors degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.