Do you need a little “me” time this summer? Are you looking for something to do to get out of the house and enjoy a little social interaction and dare I say it…conversation about something other than work or family? Have you considered joining a book club or…starting your own? If not, take advantage of the opportunity this summer. Not only is it a great way to visit friends and read books, it is also free! Most local libraries have a book club and you can check out any needed books. Stop in and see if they have anything to offer. If they don’t have a book club, get a group of friends together and start your own book club. Don’t be off put by the task of organizing and coordinating. Follow a few simple steps to get your very own book club going.
Starting Your Book Club
- Pick Your Group – invite everybody that you can think of that would be interested. Not everyone will have the time or show up for every get together, but that’s fine. Ask everybody. The more diversity, the more interesting the conversations. If you have trouble finding people look on www.meetup.com – it’s a free website to help people look for social interaction (a great tool if you’ve just moved to a new area). You can pick a radius and search out other people looking specifically for a book club or anything else you might be looking to do in the social realm. You can literally find people searching for every kind of meet up from book clubs, running, photography to any other kind of social or community interaction.
- Decide What You Want Out of the Book Club – Be upfront about your expectations. Discuss with the other members what you all want and how you will approach that goal. Define what kind of club it will be. Is it more about the social interaction? Is it more educational? Will you only be reading specific genres? Who will be picking the books? Maybe a vote or random selection from suggestions. When will you meet? Will you meet once for each book or maybe read a few chapters then meet? Where will you meet? Take turns at each other’s homes or maybe meet at a café or even a bookstore. Make an outline of the essence of the book club and share with your members.
- Create a Syllabus…and Stick with it! It’s easy to let life get in the way of the things that don’t need to be done. But in order to make it work and insure that people will continue coming to the book club, be sure you make time to read the book and come armed with questions and comments. Take turns having each member host a meeting so there is a variety and the work doesn’t always fall on one person. Be realistic about the time it takes to read the book and plan your meetings accordingly.
- Pick the Perfect Book – Depending on how you pick the book make sure it is appropriate for the group. Pick a book with lots of room for discussion and one that won’t be too time consuming to tackle in the allotted time. Take notes as you read the book and jot down questions. Think about the transition of the characters and how you would handle the same kind of conflicts in your own life. Share your thoughts and feelings at the meetings and openly listen to what others have to say.
- Enjoy Yourself! Don’t stress yourself over details. Read great books, get together with good people, expand your mind, and have some fun.
A Suggestion for Your First Book
If you are looking for that perfect book to start a book club or maybe looking for a suggestion for your existing book club, try Little Mercies available June 24th. (Download the Little Mercies Book Club Kit here). In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…
Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.
This is a gripping story about how unstable our worlds truly are and how easily the things closest to our hearts can be ripped away. It explores the relationships that we come across that bring us lessons when we need them most. When we think we have everything figured out, the world reminds us that we are an ever evolving species in constant reflection and self improvement.
For more information on Heather Gudenkauf and Little Mercies visit
This post is written by me on behalf of Harlequin, however all opinions remain my own.