Most of the Book Clubs are started with a fair bit of optimism. Host assumes that everyone will read the book and club will have fascinating discussions with the group of readers. But every time the day of ‘book club meeting’ arrives and most of the members have not finished that book and some of them didn’t even open it. Sometimes the host is also unable to finish the book group has decided to read that month. The book club meeting goes without any discussions on the book of the month. As a host or as a member, this might lose your faith in your club.
But that doesn’t have to be the death of your club. You don’t have to read all the books for your book club meeting and discussions to be fun; and that doesn’t mean your book club is being a good excuse to get together and have chit-chats on useless topics. What I mean is you can still have a fun and valuable literary discussion, even if nobody has read the book.
So, don’t hang up on your book club meeting when no one has read the book. Instead, here are some things to do that will keep the discussion going strong and the literary vibes flowing.
Discuss the reasons why members didn’t read book.
Begin the session with this question. Ask all why they were unable to read the book this month. Was it too long? Or the subject was too hard to get into? Was it not interesting at all? Or the story you couldn’t stand with? This will kick-start the session with some interesting thoughts on the book. Some of the members might have personal reasons, try not to get in details with them.
If anyone read the book of the month, ask him about it.
In a fortunate case, if any member finished that book, let him talk about the book. Encourage other members to ask him questions about the book they couldn’t finish. This might motivate them to read that book. And of course, you will have few more minutes of discussion on the book.
Find book reviews and read what others have to say about that book.
You still have a lot of time left for the session. So, look up for book reviews on Goodreads or any other reviewing site and see what others are saying about it. This will bring up some discussion on the book.
Share your favorite books with all members and ask them to share their favorites.
Now, probably, you’ve used half of your session time and you’re at your wit’s end. Don’t worry, ask members about their favorite book and why it has topped in their list. Also share your favorite book. This will light up the mood of group and members will get huge number of book recommendation.
Talk about the book all members are reading right now.
Then ask members what they are reading right now. So many of the members didn’t finish the ‘book club book’ just because they were busy in reading a different book. Even if other members in the group haven’t read that book, share your thoughts on book you’re reading currently and ask others to do same.
Talk about what everyone wants to read next or share TBR with each other.
Now share your ‘TBR’ list with club members and ask them to share theirs. Comparing TBR lists is always a fun and this might help you to decide what to read next month. The most common book in TBRs of club members will be the book for next month. As most members have it in their TBR, they will have read it before next successful book club meeting and you won’t need these tips for next month.
Spend some time on writing together.
Use some time of book club meeting as a chance to encourage each other to write. Bring along notebook or laptop and spend some time on free-writing. Let members share what they’ve written, if they want to.
Find a short story to read and discuss.
If everyone is not interested in writing together, find a short story (there are tons of short stories online that you can get to read for free in only matter of minutes). Spend some time on reading that story and some on discussing it.
Still you have time left for the book club meeting? Go around and ask these literary questions. And of course, discuss the answer
- What’s that one Classic book you couldn’t get into?
- Which literary character(s) you’re most connecting with.
- Who’s your favorite villain and why you admire him?
- Which book (if any) scared you as a child?
- Which movie adaptation of book is good. (I meant less bad!)